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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Frey and colleagues outline 10 trends showing scale of America's demographic transitions

Starr says surveys intended to predict recidivism assign higher risk to poor

Prescott and colleagues find incidence of noncompetes in U.S. labor force varies by job, state, worker education

Highlights

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

Call for Proposals: Small Grants for Research Using PSID Data. Due March 2, 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 9
Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

Sensitive topics in PC web and mobile web surveys: Is there a difference?

Publication Abstract

Mavletova, Aigul, and Mick P. Couper. 2013. "Sensitive topics in PC web and mobile web surveys: Is there a difference?" Survey Research Methods, 7(3): 191-205.

A large number of findings in survey research suggest that responses to sensitive questions are situational and can vary in relation to context. The methodological literature demonstrates that social desirability biases are less prevalent in self-administered surveys, particularly in Web surveys, when there is no interviewer and less risk of presenting oneself in an unfavorable light. Since there is a growing number of users of mobile Web browsers, we focused our study on the effects of different devices (PC or cell phone) in Web surveys on the respondents' willingness to report sensitive information. To reduce selection bias, we carried out a two-wave cross-over experiment using a volunteer online access-panel in Russia. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire in both survey modes: PC and mobile Web survey. We hypothesized that features of mobile Web usage may affect response accuracy and lead to more socially desirable responses compared to the PC Web survey mode. We found significant differences in the reporting of alcohol consumption by mode, consistent with our hypothesis. But other sensitive questions did not show similar effects. We also found that the presence of familiar bystanders had an impact on the responses, while the presence of strangers did not have any significant effect in either survey mode. Contrary to expectations, we did not find evidence of a positive impact of completing the questionnaire at home and trust in data confidentiality on the level of reporting. These results could help survey practitioners to design and improve data quality in Web surveys completed on different devices. © European Survey Research Association.

Public Access Link

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next