Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title Can Google Consumer Surveys Help Pre-Test Alternative Versions of a Survey Question?: A Comparison of Results from Cognitive Interviews and Google Consumer Surveys on Alternate Forms of Two Questions
Year 2013
Access date 30.05.2013

During the 1990s cognitive interviewing in its various incarnations (e.g., concurrent think-aloud, retrospective think-aloud, focus group discussions, probes, and memory cues) became the
primary means for evaluating questions (see Lessler and Forsyth, 1995; Conrad and Blair, 1996; Willis and Schechter, 1997; Tourangeau, Ripps, and Rasinski, 2000). By examining the cognitive processes respondents went through while interacting with a survey question, survey methodologists uncovered how small manipulations in the wording of questions influenced respondents’ answers. Another way researchers have historically uncovered the effects of question wording is through experimental field tests where several versions of a question are randomly assigned to a subsample of respondents. Over the past decade, researchers have embedded the bulk of these experiments in Web surveys among undergraduate students due to the affordability of implementing experimental designs in this mode and the technological acuity of college students. Still, if a researcher wanted to assess a single-item among a large heterogeneous audience, their options were limited. Google non-probability Consumer Surveys may provide a solution. However, two questions remain to be answered. First, how do results from these non-probability surveys compare to those from proven cognitive interview techniques. Relatedly, what is the value added by conducting such experiments. In this paper, we compare results from alternate forms of two questions that were tested at NORC at the University of Chicago with 2-waves of cognitive interviews and with Google Consumer surveys (N=4,000) to answer these questions. The results suggest that the Google Consumer survey data do complement the findings from cognitive interviews and the inclusion of the inferred weighted demographics data are useful for use in certain types of studies.

Access/Direct link

Conference Homepage (abstract)

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)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2