Design of Web Questionnaires: An Information Processing Perspective for the Effect of Response Categories

V. Toepoel, C.M. Vis, J.W.M. Das, A.H.O. van Soest

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Abstract

In this study we use an information-processing perspective to explore the impact of response scales on respondents answers in a web survey.This paper has four innovations compared to the existing literature: research is based on a different mode of administration (web), we use an open-ended format as a benchmark, four different question types are used, and the study is conducted on a representative sample of the population.We find strong effects of response scales.Questions requiring estimation strategies are more affected by the choice of response format than questions in which direct recall is used.Respondents with a low need for cognition and respondents with a low need to form opinions are more affected by the response categories than respondents with a high need for cognition and a high need to evaluate.The sensitivity to contextual clues is also significantly related to gender, age and education
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherEconometrics
Number of pages31
Volume2006-19
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2006-19

Keywords

  • web survey
  • questionnaire design
  • measurement error
  • context effects
  • response categories
  • need for cognition
  • need to evaluate

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