An Introduction to Survey Research, Volume I by Ernest L. Cowles & Edward Nelson

An Introduction to Survey Research, Volume I by Ernest L. Cowles & Edward Nelson

Author:Ernest L. Cowles & Edward Nelson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Business Expert Press
Published: 2019-06-07T16:00:00+00:00


To get the percent that was angry or upset about a woman as president, all he had to do was to subtract “the average number of items in the baseline condition [the first group] from the average number of items in the test condition [the second group] and . . . [multiply] by 100.”90

Mode Effects

The method or mode of survey delivery might affect what people tell us. This is referred to as mode effects. The four basic modes are face-to-face, telephone, mailed, and web surveys, although there are many variations of these four modes. This isn’t error but simply differences due to the mode of delivery. We’re going to consider several studies that illustrate the nature of mode effects.

Cong Ye et al. reviewed 18 experimental studies that compared telephone surveys to other modes and found that respondents in telephone surveys are more likely “to give extremely positive answers . . . but are not more likely to give extremely negative responses” compared to other modes.91

Holbrook compared a telephone survey to a face-to-face survey and found that telephone respondents were more likely to satisfice and to give socially desirable responses than face-to-face respondents.92

Peter Preisendorfer and Felix Wolter compared a face-to-face survey and a mailed survey and found that mailed surveys were somewhat more likely to elicit truthful answers to a question about having been convicted of a criminal offense.93

Exit polls in elections are common. Typically, an interviewer approaches the respondent outside the polling area on Election Day and asks the respondent to fill out a paper-and-pencil interview. Since more and more voters are voting before Election Day, the paper-and-pencil survey has been supplemented by a phone survey of early voters. Michael McDonald and Matthew Thornburg compared the Election Day paper-and-pencil survey with the telephone survey and found that telephone respondents were more likely to have higher item nonresponse to the family-income question than the paper-and-pencil respondents.94

Douglas Currivan et al. compared a telephone survey with a telephone audio computer-assisted self-interview, in which an interviewer contacts respondents and gets their consent and then the interview itself is conducted over the phone without the interviewer’s presence. Respondents answer questions that are prerecorded by pressing keys on their touch-tone phone. Respondents were youth who were asked about tobacco use. They found that “girls, regardless of race/ethnicity, seem more likely to report smoking if they can do so by pushing a button on their touch-tone phone rather than by providing answers aloud to a human interviewer.”95

Dirk Heerwegh and Geert Loosveldt compared a web survey with a face-to-face interview.96 The web survey had more don’t knows and more item nonresponses than did the face-to-face survey. In other words, the web survey demonstrated more satisficing.

Trung Ha and Julia Soulakova found that the percent “of smoke-free homes was lower for personal interviews . . . than for phone interviews . . . .”97



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