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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Using Behavioral Economic Games as Replacement for Grid Questions to Increase Respondent Engagement
Year 2016
Access date 29.04.2016
Presentation PDF (1.02MB)
Relevance & Research Question:

Latent variables like trust, brand image or attitudes toward a product are widely used in explaining consumer behavior. As these constructs are not directly observable, multi-item scales (also referred to as grid questions), sets of consecutive text statements using the same response scale, are a common measurement instrument. But, the use of grid questions is controversially discussed especially in terms of respondent engagement. This contribution evaluates to what extend experiments with simple behavioral economics games in questionnaires produce similar information about subjects’ attitude and provides insights into potentials of such games in terms of engaging and incentivizing respondents.

Methods & Data:

The data for this contribution were obtained from a two-part survey study: a traditional questionnaire including grid questions on different characteristics regarding the trustworthiness (e.g., diligence, honesty) of people from other European countries as well as two simple games on honesty and the willingness to volunteer. After playing the game the respondents were asked to assess the behavior of participants from other countries to measure their attitudes towards people from these countries. The respondent’s monetary reward depended on the accuracy of this assessment.

Firstly, we checked if grid questions and games yield similar results. Secondly, data from the grid questions were analyzed with respect to indications of decreasing respondent engagement over time (decreasing variance between evaluations of different countries, straight lining etc.).


In terms of outcome, grid questions and games show quite comparable results regarding, e.g., the ranking of the countries. Regarding respondent engagement, first results for the grid questions indicate decreasing respondent engagement over time.

The biggest advantage of games is the incentive compatible payment. Using just grid questions it is only possible to reward respondents’ participation, not thoughtful responses. In the applied games respondents’ answers determine their individual payoff motivating them to give honest and thoughtful responses. Evidence shows that the social desirability bias can be reduced.

Added Value:

The contribution demonstrates a new way to evaluate latent constructs in questionnaires using behavioral economic games. The advantages lie in a higher respondent engagement and better opportunities to incentivize respondents for thoughtful responses.
Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - Germany (639)