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See detailImplementation of the forced answering option within online surveys: Do higher item response rates come at the expense of participation and answer quality?
Decieux, Jean Philippe Pierre UL; Mergener, Alexandra; Sischka, Philipp UL et al

in Psihologija (2015), 48(4), 311-326

Online surveys have become a popular method for data gathering for many reasons, including low costs and the ability to collect data rapidly. However, online data collection is often conducted without ... [more ▼]

Online surveys have become a popular method for data gathering for many reasons, including low costs and the ability to collect data rapidly. However, online data collection is often conducted without adequate attention to implementation details. One example is the frequent use of the forced answering option, which forces the respondent to answer each question in order to proceed through the questionnaire. The avoidance of missing data is often the idea behind the use of the forced answering option. However, we suggest that the costs of a reactance effect in terms of quality reduction and unit nonresponse may be high because respondents typically have plausible reasons for not answering questions. The objective of the study reported in this paper was to test the influence of forced answering on dropout rates and data quality. The results show that requiring participants answer every question increases dropout rates and decreases quality of answers. Our findings suggest that the desire for a complete data set has to be balanced against the consequences of reduced data quality. [less ▲]

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