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

Mick P. Couper photo

Designing Input Fields for Non-Narrative Open-Ended Responses in Web Surveys

Publication Abstract

Couper, Mick P., Courtney Kennedy, Frederick G. Conrad, and Roger Tourangeau. 2011. "Designing Input Fields for Non-Narrative Open-Ended Responses in Web Surveys." Journal of Official Statistics, 27(1): 65-85.

Web surveys often collect information such as frequencies, currency amounts, dates, or other items requiring short structured answers in an open-ended format, typically using text boxes for input. We report on several experiments exploring design features of such input fields. We find little effect of the size of the input field on whether frequency or dollar amount answers are well-formed or not. By contrast, the use of templates to guide formatting significantly improves the well-formedness of responses to questions eliciting currency amounts. For date questions (whether month/year or month/day/year), we find that separate input fields improve the quality of responses over single input fields, while drop boxes further reduce the proportion of ill-formed answers. Drop boxes also reduce completion time when the list of responses is short (e. g., months), but marginally increases completion time when the list is long (e. g., birth dates). These results suggest that non-narrative open questions can be designed to help guide respondents to provide answers in the desired format.

PMCID: PMC3570266. (Pub Med Central)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next