Do distractions during web survey completion affect data quality? Findings from a laboratory experiment


Wenz, Alexander



DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439319851503
URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0894...
Additional URL: https://sage.figshare.com/articles/Supplemental_Ma...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2019
The title of a journal, publication series: Social Science Computer Review : SSCORE
Page range: 1-14
Place of publication: Thousand Oaks, CA ; London
Publishing house: Sage
ISSN: 0894-4393 , 1552-8286
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Methoden d. empirischen Sozialforschung insbes. Internet Panel Survey-Forschung (Blom 2017-)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Web survey respondents are frequently distracted during survey completion, which potentially affects the quality of data they provide. This article reports on results from a laboratory experiment examining how distractions during web survey completion influence data quality. Participants were randomly assigned to experimental groups using a 2 (device type) × 3 (form of distraction) between-subject factorial design. They were asked to complete a web questionnaire on either a PC or a tablet and were allocated to one of the three distraction conditions: (1) the presence of other people in the room who have a loud conversation, (2) the presence of music, or (3) no distraction. The study examines the effect of distraction on various measures of data quality and attentiveness. While participants felt significantly more distracted in the presence of other people or music, the study found no significant effect of distraction for any of the data quality and attentiveness measures. The findings are encouraging for survey practitioners: Even if web respondents listen to music or are in noisy environments, these forms of distraction generally do not seem to affect the quality of responses they provide.

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Wenz, Alexander (2019) Do distractions during web survey completion affect data quality? Findings from a laboratory experiment. Social Science Computer Review : SSCORE Thousand Oaks, CA ; London 1-14 [Article]


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