Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Shaefer and Edin's book ($2 a Day) cited in piece on political debate over plight of impoverished Americans

Eisenberg tracks factors affecting both mental health and athletic/academic performance among college athletes

Shapiro says Americans' low spending reflects "cruel lesson" about the dangers of debt

Highlights

Susan Murphy elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Maggie Levenstein named director of ISR's Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Arline Geronimus receives 2016 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award

PSC spring 2016 newsletter: Kristin Seefeldt, Brady West, newly funded projects, ISR Runs for Bob, and more

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

Increasing respondents' use of definitions in web surveys

Publication Abstract

Peytchev, A., Frederick G. Conrad, Mick P. Couper, and Roger Tourangeau. 2010. "Increasing respondents' use of definitions in web surveys." Journal of Official Statistics, 26(4): 633–650.

Survey respondents may misinterpret the questions they are asked, potentially undermining the accuracy of their answers. One way to reduce this risk is to make definitions of key question concepts available to the respondents. In the current study we compared two methods of making definitions available to web survey respondents – displaying the definition with the question text and displaying the definition when respondents roll the mouse over the relevant question terms. When definitions were always displayed they were consulted more than when they required a rollover request. The length of the definitions did not affect how frequently they were used under either method of display. Respondents who completed training items designed to encourage definition use actually requested definitions less often, suggesting that they may value minimal effort over improved understanding. We conclude that at least for small numbers of questions, providing definitions with the question is likely to be the more effective approach than rollovers or hyperlinks.

PMCID: PMC3570267. (Pub Med Central)

Public Access Link

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next