Web Survey Bibliography
(a) Relevance & Research Question: Rating scales can considerably affect data quality regarding mean ratings, distribution of answers, response time, or item nonresponse (e.g., Couper, Conrad, & Tourangeau, 2007; Healey, 2007; Heerwegh & Loosveldt, 2002; Krosnick, 1999; Krosnick & Fabrigar, 1997). However, because implementation is easy, designers of Web surveys are tempted to use special rating scales without knowing much about their impact on data quality. This presentation focuses on how slider scales may harm survey data. Nevertheless, sometimes changes in rating scales are inevitable, especially when scrolling on Internet devices with an upright display (e.g., smart phones) should be avoided (for problems see Couper, Tourangeau, Conrad, & Crawford, 2004).
(b) Methods & Data: In a 2 x 2 Web experiment, type of rating scale (5-point Java-based slider versus 5-point HTML radio button scale) was manipulated as well as the spatial orientation on the screen. On a single Web page, respondents ( N = 779) had to evaluate two product concepts, counterbalanced for order. For analysis, respondents’ reported education was recoded in two groups, below college degree (e.g., B.A. or B.S.) and at least college degree.
(c) Results: Overall, break-off was significantly higher with slider scales in comparison to radio button scales, chi2(1, N = 779) = 12.81, p < .001, odds ratio = 6.92. Whereas respondents in the group with low education had problems with slider scales, chi2(1, N = 451) = 5.89, p = .018, odds ratio = 5.45, no difference in break-off was observed in the group of respondents with a high formal education, chi2(1, N = 321) = 1.66, p = 1.000. Additionally, task duration was considerably higher with slider scales, F (1, 703) = 638,23, p < .001, eta2 = .48. Furthermore, fewer respondents chose the middle category with slider scales. Spatial orientation of the rating scale had no significant influence on break-off or distribution of values.
(d) Added Value: The interaction between rating scale and educational level is a serious argument against the use of Java-based slider scales in general. Overall, it seems that horizontal and vertical layout can be substituted mutually.
Conference Homepage (abstract)
Web Survey Bibliography - Thomas, R. K. (64)
- Ordering Your Attention: Response Order Effects in Parallel Phone and Online Surveys; 2012; Barlas, F. M., Thomas, R. K.
- A Shot in the Dark: Measurement Influence on Likelihood to Vaccination; 2012; Higgins, W. B., Thomas, R. K.
- Response Anchoring and Polarity Effects on Endorsement and Response Patterns; 2012; Higgins, W. B., Thomas, R. K.
- Evaluating the Impact of Emails and Landing Page on Web Survey Access; 2012; Falcone, A. E., Thomas, R. K., Mack, A. R.
- I Got a Feeling: Comparison of Feeling Thermometers with Verbally Labeled Scales in Attitude Measurement...; 2012; Thomas, R. K., Bremer, J.
- The River Flows: Comparison of Experimental Effect Replicability with Different Sample Sources; 2012; Thomas, R. K.
- How Likely?: Comparisons of Behavioral Intention Measurement Validity; 2012; Bremer, J., Thomas, R. K.
- Effects of response format on requalification for recontact studies; 2011; Thomas, R. K.
- Slider Scales Causing Serious Problems With Less Educated Respondents; 2011; Funke, F., Reips, U. -D., Thomas, R. K.
- Cross-country Comparisons: Effects of Scale Type and Response Style Differences; 2011; Thomas, R. K.
- A Comparison of Branching Response Formats with Single Response Formats; 2011; Thomas, R. K.
- Cleaving the Past Behind: A Comparison of Response Formats in the Measurement of Ethnic and Racial Origins...; 2011; Barlas, F. M., Thomas, R. K., Higgins, W. B.
- An Injured Party?: A Comparison of Political Party Response Formats in Party Identification.; 2011; Schwarz, S., Barlas, F. M., Thomas, R. K., Corso, R. A., Szoc, R.
- Sliders for the Smart: Type of Rating Scale on the Web Interacts With Educational Level; 2011; Funke, F., Reips, U. -D., Thomas, R. K.
- Function follows form: Effects of response format on self-reported individuals and household disability...; 2010; Falcone, A. E., Thomas, R. K.
- Response format effects on measurement of employment; 2009; Thomas, R. K., Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D.
- Twisting rating scales in Web surveys: Slider scales versus categorical scales of horizontal versus...; 2009; Funke, F. Reips, U. -D. Thomas, R. K.
- Increasing Confidence in Survey Estimates with Visual Analogue Scales; 2009; Funke, F., Reips, U. -D., Thomas, R. K.
- Response Formats in Cross-cultural Comparisons in Web-based Surveys; 2009; Thomas, R. K.l, Terhanian, G., Funke, F.
- Optimal Design of Branching Questions to Measure Bipolar Constructs; 2009; Malhotra, N., Krosnick, J. A., Thomas, R. K.
- Comparing Adolescent Response Bias Between Internet and Telephone Surveys ; 2009; Klein, J. D., Graff Havens, C., Thomas, R. K.
- Parallel Phone and Web-based Interviews: Effects of Sample and Weighting on Comparability and Validity...; 2008; Thomas, R. K., Krane, D., Taylor, H., Terhanian, G.
- Response Non-Differentiation and Response Styles in Web-Based Studies: Causes and Consequences ; 2008; Frisina, L. T., Thomas, R. K.
- Visual Analogue Scales in Cross Cultural Web Surveys ; 2008; Funke, F., Reips, U. -D., Thomas, R. K.
- Truth in measurement: Comparing Web Based interviewing Techniques; 2007; Couper, M. P., Terhanian, G., Bremer, J., Thomas, R. K.
- A Comparison of Visual Analog and Graphic Rating Scales ; 2007; Thomas, R. K., Couper, M. P.
- The Best of Intentions: Response Format Effects on Measures of Behavioral lntention ; 2007; Thomas, R. K., Klein, J. D., Behnke, C. S., Terhanian, G.
- Scaling Social Desirability: Establishing its Influence Across Modes; 2007; Krane, D., Thomas, R. K., Taylor, H.
- On the Importance of Form: Effects of Response Format on Measures off importance; 2007; Thomas, R. K., Behnke, C. S., Allenza, J., Klein, J. D.
- Improving importance Assessment: Experimental Comparisons between Variations of Ranking and Rating Tasks...; 2007; Thomas, R. K., Allenza, J., Behnke, C. S.
- Behavioral self-report measures. International extensions; 2006; Thomas, R. K., Klein, J. D.
- Merely Incidental?: Effects of Response Format on Self-reported Behavior; 2006; Thomas, R. K., Klein, J. D.
- Response Order Effects in International Online Surveys; 2006; Thomas, R. K., Greenfield, S., Bremer, J.
- Attitude Measurement in Phone and Online Surveys: Can Different Modes and Samples Yield Similar Results...; 2006; Thomas, R. K., Krane, D., Taylor, H., Terhanian, G.
- Response format effects in self-report of political and non-political contributions; 2005; Thomas, R. K. et al.
- Rating versus comparative trade-off measures. Trending changes in political issues across time and predictive...; 2005; Thomas, R. K. et al.
- A Comparison of an Online Card Sorting Task to a Rating Task; 2005; Thomas, R. K., Bayer, L. R., Johnson, A. M., Behnke, C. S.
- A Comparison of Presidential Candidate Vote Intention Measures in U.S. Elections; 2005; Thomas, R. K., Krane, D., Sanders, M. G., Behnke, C. S.
- To Vote or Not to Vote?: A Comparison of Vote Intention Measures; 2005; Thomas, R. K., Sanders, M. G., Smith, R., Behnke, C. S.
- Response Order Effects in Online Surveys; 2005; Thomas, R. K., Behnke, C. S., Johnson, A. M.
- How Does Social Desirability Affect Responses?: Differences in Telephone and Online Surveys; 2005; Taylor, H., Krane, D., Thomas, R. K.
- On the primacy of affect in attitude-behavior research; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Schofield, C. M.
- Measuring television viewership through a multi-method approach; 2004; Terhanian, G., Bremer, J., Delaney, T. F., Thomas, R. K.
- Behavioral Intention Measurement: International Findings; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Terhanian, G., Bayer, L. R.
- A Comparison of Sliding Scales with Other Scale Types in Online Surveys; 2004; Bayer, L. R., Thomas, R. K.
- A Comparison of Ranking versus Rating in Online Surveys; 2004; Thomas, R. K.
- To Do or Not to Do?: A Comparison of Behavioral Intention Measures; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Behnke, C. S., Johnson, A. M.
- Item Non-response: Don't Know about Mandatory Responses?; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Johnson, A. M., Behnke, C. S.
- Rating versus Comparative Trade-off Measures; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Behnke, C. S., Johnson, A. M.
- It's Only Incidental: International Web Survey Considerations; 2004; Thomas, R. K., Klein, J. D., Behnke, C. S.