Article (Scientific journals)
The Impact of Forced Answering and Reactance on Answering Behavior in Online Surveys
Sischka, Philipp; Décieux, Jean Philippe; Mergener, Alexandra et al.
2020In Social Science Computer Review
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Keywords :
online survey research; forced answering; reactance; dropout; answer quality
Abstract :
[en] Forced answering (FA) is a frequent answer format in online surveys that forces respondents to answer each question in order to proceed through the questionnaire. The underlying rationale is to decrease the amount of missing data. Despite its popularity, empirical research on the impact of FA on respondents’ answering behavior is scarce and has generated mixed findings. In fact, some quasi-experimental studies showed that FA has detrimental consequences such as increased survey dropout rates and faking behavior. Notably, a theoretical psychological process driving these effects has hitherto not been identified. Therefore, the aim of the present study was twofold: First, we sought to experimentally replicate detrimental effects of FA on online questionnaire data quality. Second, we tried to uncover an explanatory psychological mechanism. Specifically, we hypothesized that FA effects are mediated through reactance. Zero-order effects showed that FA increased state reactance and questionnaire dropout as well as reduced answer length in open-ended questions. Results of survival and mediation analyses corroborate negative FA effects on data quality and the proposed psychological process.
Disciplines :
Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Author, co-author :
Sischka, Philipp ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)
Décieux, Jean Philippe
Mergener, Alexandra
Neufang, Kristina M.
Schmidt, Alexander F.
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
The Impact of Forced Answering and Reactance on Answering Behavior in Online Surveys
Publication date :
24 February 2020
Journal title :
Social Science Computer Review
Publisher :
SAGE Publications, New York, United States - New York
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Available on ORBilu :
since 24 February 2020


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