[en] Due to the low costs and the ability to reach many people in a short time, online-surveys have become an important resource of data for research. As a result, many non-professionals gather their data through online questionnaires, which are often of low quality or operationalised poorly. A popular example for this is the ‘forced-response-option‘, whose impact will be analysed within this research-project.
The forced-response-option is commonly described as a possibility to force the respondent to give an answer to each question that is asked. In most of the online-survey computer software, it is easily achieved by enabling a checkbox.
There has been a tremendous increase in the use of this option, however, the inquirers are often not aware of possible consequences. In software-manuals, this option is praised as a strategy that reduces item-non-response.
In contrast, authors offer many doubts that counter this strategy. They base on the assumption that respondents typically have plausible reasons for not answering a question (not understanding; absence of appropriate categories; privacy).
Our thesis is that forcing the respondents to select an answer might cause two scenarios:
- Increasing unit-non-response/dropout-rates.
- Decreasing validity of the answers (lying/random answers).
To analyse the consequences of the implementation of forced-response-option, we use split-ballot-field-experiments. We especially focus on dropout-rates and response behaviour. Our first split-ballot-experiment was carried out last July (n=1056) and we plan a second experiment for March, so that we will be able to present our results based on strong data evidence.
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Decieux, Jean Philippe Pierre ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)
Sischka, Philipp ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)
External co-authors :
Effects of the Implementation of ‘Forced Answering‘ within Online Surveys on Response Rates and Validity of Answers
Publication date :
28 August 2015
Event name :
ESA 2015 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association
Event organizer :
European Sociological Association
Event place :
Event date :
25-08-2015 to 28-08-2015
References of the abstract :
ESA 2015 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015