Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Effects of Survey Design Features on Answers to Sensitive Questions
Author Witt, L.
Source The American Association for () 67th Annual Conference, 2012The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 67th Annual Conference, 2012
Year 2012
Access date 30.06.2012

The challenges of asking questions with socially desirable answers are well documented (Tourangeau & Yan, 2007). In order to make answering socially desirable questions less threatening, the use of a selfadministered mode and softening the question language have been cited as means to reducing the effects of social desirability when asking survey questions (Bradburn et al., 2004; Tourangeau & Smith, 1996). Though the effects of sponsorship have been studied in terms of nonresponse (Dillman et al., 2009), research of its effects on measurement, including the effects on the perceived threat of answering sensitive questions, has been limited. This study aims to better understand the extent to which the threat of answering sensitive questions needs to be reduced using tested and untested survey design features. Data from the Nebraska Young Adult Alcohol Opinion Survey will be used, which includes questions about perceptions of alcohol use and alcohol behaviors. Using variations of sponsorship, scale ordering, and question wording, respondents will be randomly assigned to one of three groups varying from a low threat level to a high threat, including one group where survey features indicate that the sponsor portrays alcohol use favorably, a more neutral group using some design elements to deter social desirability, and a third group where a respondent could infer negative connotations around alcohol use. The responses will then be compared across the three groups to determine the impact of the varying survey design features on the level of threat perceived when answering sensitive questions. Also, each group’s average response to a question asking if the respondent has ever been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol will be compared to the true, State value. The results will also be compared across mode due to the mixed-mode nature of the survey utilizing both web and mail modes.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

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