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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Impact of Filter Questions on Estimates of Media Consumption
Year 2013
Access date 29.05.2013

A key choice in the design of Web surveys is whether to avoid posing questions to respondents that do not apply to them by first asking filter questions. In research on filter questions, there is some indication that a dichotomous “yes” or “no” response will yield a lower proportion of selfreported occurrences of behaviors or attitudes than a multi-category scale. For example, in a number of studies measuring attitudes (e.g. ‘concern’) or self-reports of ‘crime,’ multi-category formats have been associated with higher self-reported incidence or attitudes than conditions that filter with yes-no formats (Herrmann, et al., 1998; Hippler and Schwarz, 1989; Knäuper, 1998; Sterngold, et al., 1994). These findings are at odds with the cognitive processes that survey researchers and psychologists believe that respondents use to answer questions. It is believed that respondents first determine whether an incident or attitude occurred and before trying to map it onto the provided multi-category response scale. This study extends the research on filter questions by examining their use to measure media consumption, particularly newspapers readership, radio listening and television viewing. Using a split ballot design on a representative sample of 1,000 adults, we randomly assigned half the sample to report their media consumption over a period of time using a multi-category response, while the other half of the sample were first asked a filter question before receiving the multi-category response if eligible. Preliminary finding show that respondents receiving the multi-category response reported more media consumption than those receiving the filter questions. Additional analysis will explore differences along demographic lines and seek to relate the findings of non-media use to satisficing behavior in other parts of the survey instrument.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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