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Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Relation of Survey Topic and Participation Behavior. Analyzing Unit Nonresponse using web-generated Process Data
Year 2013
Access date 05.07.2013

Survey topic as a factor influencing participation rates is becoming increasingly important, as there is an increasing trend in social science research to survey specific populations about specific topics. Previous research has shown that respondents with high topic interest (often referred to as salience) have a higher propensity to participate in surveys. However, the theoretical disentangling of topic interest has been largely neglected in the literature. We present an explanatory model of participation, based on subjective utility as a function of an actor's relational position in a particular social setting. To illustrate the relation of survey topic and participation behavior as a function of respondents' characteristics, we use an online survey on mating conducted on an online dating population (n= 3,457; response rate: 9%). Comprehensive information is available for both participants and non-participants on an individual level. Using this complete web-generated process data (n=34,565), consisting of profile and interaction data, we model respondents' probability of participation. Results of multivariate statistics show that the probability of participation varies by a user's chances of success on the mating market. Users who can be described as less attractive (e.g. older people, less educated men, overweight women) show a higher probability of participation, which we explain with the proposed topic salience mechanism. We conclude with general implications regarding (1) the relationship between survey topic and respondents' survey participation and (2) the potential of web-generated process data for (online) survey research.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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