Design Effects in Web Surveys: Comparing Trained and Fresh Respondents

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In this paper we investigate whether there are differences in design effects between trained and fresh respondents. In three experiments, we varied the number of items on a screen, the choice of response categories, and the layout of a five point rating scale. We find that trained respondents are more sensitive to satisficing and select the first acceptable response option more often than fresh respondents. Fresh respondents show stronger effects with regard to verbal and nonverbal cues than trained respondents, suggesting that fresh respondents find it more difficult to answer questions and pay more attention to the details of the response scale in interpreting the question.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • professional respondents
  • questionnaire design
  • items per screen
  • response categories
  • layout


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