The communication channels by which survey questions and answers are transmitted between researcher/interviewer and respondent can affect the responses given. We test a number of hypotheses regarding the effects of communication channels on responses, mediating characteristics of the question, and mediating characteristics of the respondent. We focus particularly on the role as mediators of the respondent’s cognitive ability and motivation. Recognising that each component of the questioning process – question stem, response options, and answer – can potentially be communicated by a different channel, we compare alternative channels of communication for response options while holding the channel constant for the question stem. We use data from a large-scale controlled experiment that included factual, satisfaction and attitude items. We study questions with both nominal and ordinal response categories. We draw conclusions for survey design and also for further methodological research.
Peter Lynn, Steven Hope, Annette Jäckle, Pam Campanelli & Gerry Nicolaas
Peter Lynn (ISER)
Date & time:
29 Feb 2012 13:00 pm
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