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Web Survey Bibliography

Title An Evaluation of Two Non-Reactive Web Questionnaire Pretesting Methods
Year 2012
Access date 30.04.2012

Relevance & Research Question: Response latency measurement and eye tracking are two computer-assisted pretesting methods that may be particularly useful for evaluating Web questionnaires. In contrast to other techniques (e.g., expert reviews, qualitative interviews), both methods produce nonreactive and objective measures of behavior that are neither affected by the researcher (and the ways in which she tests the questions) nor by the research context. While previous studies have shown that longer response latencies and fixation times are indicative of problematic questions (Lenzner et al., 2010, 2011), little is known about the utility of the two methods (or measures) in the practical pretesting context (e.g., in testing draft questions). This study examines whether response latencies and fixation times are discriminative features to distinguish flawed from improved survey questions.
Methods & Data: In a laboratory experiment, respondents’ eye movements and response latencies were recorded while they were answering two versions of a Web questionnaire. One group (n=22) received a questionnaire including poorly worded questions and the other group (n=22) received the same questionnaire with improved question wordings. Given that response latencies and fixation times are highly individual, we computed the baseline fixation rate (eye tracking) and baseline reading rate (response latency) for every respondent from seven additional questions asked in the same Web survey. In the analyses, whenever the response or fixation times for a question exceeded respondents’ baseline by more than 15%, the question was deemed problematic. (The analyses were repeated with 10%, 20%, and 25% thresholds, but all conclusions remained unchanged).
Results: Fixation rate (eye tracking) was consistently more accurate than reading rate (response latency) in classifying the questions as flawed or improved. The overall accuracy of the fixation rate ranged from 60% to 85%, the accuracy of the reading rate from 43% to 70%. Also, the eye tracking measure resulted in considerably fewer misses (failures to detect problems) and fewer false alarms.
Added Value: This study suggests that fixation times and response latencies are potentially useful methods for pretesting (draft) Web questionnaires, albeit the level of accuracy with which they identify problematic questions is not yet satisfactory.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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Web survey bibliography (4086)