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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Multi-Mode Survey Administration: Does Offering Multiple Modes at Once Depress Response Rates?
Year 2013
Access date 23.05.2013

As multi-mode surveys become the dominant methodology, questions have emerged about the optimal way to combine different modes. Is it best to offer all of the modes simultaneously, allowing respondents to choose their preferred mode of response, or is it best to offer first one mode and then another consecutively? Studies have shown that offering modes concurrently can depress response rates, a phenomenon sometimes called the “paradox of choice.” (Medway and Fulton 2012; Millar and Dillman 2011). According to this research, when respondents are provided with a choice of modes, they are less likely to respond by any mode. Consequently, there has been increased interest in determining how to best offer modes sequentially in order to increase survey response. For the 2010 IRS Individual Taxpayer Burden (ITB) Survey, an experiment compared a sequential administration (beginning with a Web survey) with a single mode, mail-only administration. The mail-only administration resulted in a higher response rate (44.1%) than an administration that offered first the Web survey and then the mail survey (40.9%).When planning for the 2011 ITB Survey, however, it was not an option to conduct a mail-only survey given federal government technology requirements. Therefore, it was decided that the 2011 ITB should follow the successful mail-only administration, with a simultaneous Web option. In an attempt to avoid the “paradox of choice,” the Web survey was offered in an understated way. While there has been very low Web survey response, overall response rates for the 2011 ITB Survey have so far been significantly higher than the 2010 survey (48.5%).This paper explores the success (and drawbacks) of this type of concurrent offering. The results of this administration suggest that it is possible to offer modes simultaneously if one mode is considered the primary mode and other modes are offered less prominently.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityFurther details

Web survey bibliography - The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 68th Annual Conference, 2013 (88)

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