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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Virtual Selves and Web Surveys
Year 2001
Access date 20.04.2004
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With rapid transfer of many forms of social inquiry through structured questionnaires to the Web, and increasing use of the Web for many forms of social interaction, it is increasingly important to explore whether the Web is indeed a ’socially neutral’ research tool as many believe. Because of Web graphics, interactive nature and context of global environment, social desirability effects in Web surveys may be different as with other self-administered methods, which usually reduce them. In addition, increased use of interactive services, such as multiple user domains, interactive chat rooms and interactive online games encourages widespread adoption of ’virtual personas’ on the Web. It is thus important to explore how par-ticipation in such interactive services may mitigate potential benefits of the Web for social research. Our research explores whether those who are frequent participants in so-called ’alternate realities’ on the Web are more likely to present their ’virtual personas’ or represent their ’real selves’ when answering questions in Web surveys. Users of interactive services are identified in a large national Web survey of Internet users in Slovenia within the project RIS (Research on Internet in Slovenia, at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. They are asked a variety of questions relating to self-image and self-presentation and questions known to be subject to social desirability bias. At the end of the survey they are asked for their telephone number. A matched sample of respondents from the population of non-users of interactive services is also selected. Both groups are then administered a telephone survey, with the key self-presentation and social desirability items replicated. We then compare the responses to the telephone survey with those provided in the Web survey. Our hypothesis is that those who are regular participants in interactive services are more likely to present themselves in a different light on the Web than on the telephone, relative to the non-user group.

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Year of publication2001
Bibliographic typeJournal article
Conferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - Vehovar, V. (46)