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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Effects of Self-Awareness on Disclosure During Skype Survey Interviews
Year 2013
Access date 31.05.2013

As people increasingly communicate via video using software like Skype and FaceTime, new opportunities for survey interviewing are emerging. But little is known about how videomediated
interviewing affects data quality, respondent satisfaction, and interviewer rapport. On the one hand, videomediation might increase rapport with interviewers without the intimidation that can occur face to face; on the other hand, it may reduce respondents’ sense of privacy, and thus reduce disclosure of socially undesirable behaviors. The current study explores how one prominent default feature in current video technologies—the “self-view,” a video image of oneself in the corner of the screen—affects survey respondents’ levels of disclosure and feelings of comfort. In a laboratory experiment, 85 respondents engaged in a live real-time survey interview conducted over Skype, with the interviewer and respondent in separate locations. Respondents answered 42 questions from major U.S. surveys, selected because they might show mode effects related to socially undesirable responding, either with the default video image of themselves in the corner of the screen (“self-view”) or without the image (“no selfview”). Results suggest, perhaps counter intuitively, that the self-view reduces sensitivity and social desirability effects, allowing respondents to answer more comfortably and presumably more accurately. For instance, when asked about alcohol consumption, respondents in the self-view condition reported more frequent and greater alcohol consumption, and a (presumably more accurate) decreased likelihood of having been tested for HIV. In post-interview questions, respondents in the no-self-view condition reported a greater sense of co-presence with the interviewer and less comfort answering many of the sensitive questions. They also rated the interview as more sensitive than those in the self-view condition. Although the causal mechanisms are unclear, perhaps a self-view allows videomediated survey respondents to feel comfortable enough about their self-display to promote disclosure, or distracts them enough to reduce defensive self-monitoring.

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Conference Homepage (abstract)

Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

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

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