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Web Survey Bibliography

Title In Search of Equivalency across Modes: Experimental Results Comparing Alternative Question Formats for Eliciting Dates in Telephone and Web Modes
Year 2005
Access date 28.04.2005

Words convey meaning in interview and self-administered surveys, but respondents to paper and web surveys infer additional meaning from the symbols and numbers used in, and the graphical design of questionnaires. We report the results of several experiments to compare different uses of words, symbols and graphics designed to instruct respondents to report date responses in a desired format. These experiments were embedded in a series of surveys, three web and one telephone, of randomly sampled Washington State University undergraduate students. We find that the manner in which respondents were verbally instructed to report the month and year in the query had a powerful effect on the phone survey; however, on the web survey, the stem change had less effect since respondents were provided additional visual instructions located with the response space, making them more accessible at the time of response. The most dramatic effect from the web surveys is that using symbols (e.g. MM\YYYY) to convey the number of digits respondents should use to report the month and year strongly increased the use of the desired format. In addition, placing the symbols in close proximity to each answer space increased their visibility at the time of response and thereby resulted in more respondents using a four-digit year response format. Our research suggests that verbal language changes have powerful effects in phone surveys, where aural communication is the primary mode of communication. In web surveys where other visual languages can be used to support verbal language, symbols and graphical location can effectively be used to instruct respondents to report answers in a particular format.

Access/Direct link Conference program
Year of publication2005
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations