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Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Impact of Scale Direction, Alignment and Length on Responses to Rating Scale Questions in a Web Survey
Year 2016
Access date 01.06.2016
Although rating scale questions are used extensively in surveys and have received much research attention in the literature, the direction of the rating scales has not been as extensively studied as have other design features. Previous research found mean shifts and changes in proportions endorsing various response options under different scale directions, indicating that respondents are more likely to select response options at the start of the scale, regardless of whether the response options are presented in an ascending order (i.e., the scale runs from the positive pole or highest level to the negative pole or lowest level) or descendingorder (i.e., running from the negative pole or lowest level to the positive pole or highest level). However, it is not quite clear yet, whether this effect is independent of other scale features, such as alignment of the scale (i.e., whether the scale is presented vertically or horizontally) and the number of scale points. Also more research is needed on the influence of scale direction on other properties of the resulting answers (e.g., factor structures, internal consistency of resulted factors). In two experiments in a nonprobability online panel, respondents were randomly assigned to answer two sets of multi-item batteries (4 items on traditionalism and 4 items on political efficacy) on a descending scale or an ascending scale. Preliminary analyses confirms that the scale direction significantly affects resultant survey responses by pushing answers to the beginning of the scale. We found that scale alignment (vertical vs. horizontal presentation of the scale) and number of scale points (5-point vs. 7-point) does not interact with scale direction but that respondents who speeded through the questionnaire were particularly prone to the scale direction effect. Further analysis will focus on the influence of scale direction on factors structure and internal consistency of the resulted factors.
Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - Keusch, F. (21)