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

Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Effect of Respondent Commitment on Response Quality in an Online Survey
Year 2015
Access date 04.07.2015

To the extent that the inaccuracy in survey responses is due to insufficient effort by respondents, it might help to directly ask respondents to try harder and elicit an explicit agreement from them to do so. The rationale for this technique is that agreeing or stating one's intention to behave in a certain way commits a person to carry out the terms of the agreement. Charles Cannel and his associates pioneered the technique in the 1970s in face-to-face health-related interviews and the results were promising: respondents who signed a commitment statement reported more health events and their reports were higher quality than did respondents who were not asked to make this commitment. A high impact domain in which the quality of survey responses has been called into question – and which therefore might benefit from more committed respondents is labor force economics, in particular, income and the receipt of unemployment benefits (Moore, Stinson, and Welniak, 1999; Meyer, Mok, and Sullivan, 2009). The current study measures the impact of respondent commitment to provide complete, accurate, and honest answers in this domain in an online survey, i.e., without an interviewer present. The data come from a survey conducted by the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berurfsforschung (IAB)) in Germany. Respondents will be asked to check a box indicating their commitment. Response accuracy to several employment and income related questions will be validated using IAB’s employment records– previous studies evaluating commitment have only used indirect measures of accuracy. The study also examines the effect of respondent commitment on socially desirable reporting, satisficing, respondent-reported record check, consent to link their records and responses, and to be contacted for a follow-up survey. If successful, commitment in online surveys is a low cost and low-tech approach to improving data quality.

Year of publication2015
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (4086)