How long do respondents think online surveys should be? New evidence from two online panels in Germany

Revilla, Melanie ; Höhne, Jan Karem

Additional URL:
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: International Journal of Market Research : IJMR
Volume: 62
Issue number: 5
Page range: 538-545
Place of publication: Thousand Oaks, CA
Publishing house: Sage
ISSN: 1470-7853 , 2515-2173
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > SFB 884
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
310 Statistics
320 Political science
Abstract: In recent years, the number of surveys, especially online surveys, has increased dramatically. Due to the absence of interviewers in this survey mode (who can motivate the respondents to continue answering), some researchers and practitioners argue that online surveys should not be longer than 20 min. However, so far, there has been little research investigating how long respondents think that online surveys should or could be. In this study, we therefore asked respondents of two online panels in Germany (one probability-based panel and one nonprobability panel) about their opinions on the ideal and maximum lengths of surveys. We also investigated whether socio-demographic, personality-related, and survey-related variables were associated with the ideal and maximum lengths reported by respondents. Finally, we compared the stated and observed survey lengths to evaluate the extent to which respondents are able to accurately estimate survey length. Our results suggest that the ideal length of an online survey is between 10 and 15 min and the maximum length is between 20 and 28 min, depending on the measure of central tendency (mean or median) used and the panel. Moreover, we found significant effects of socio-demographics (gender, age, education, and number of persons in household), of personality traits, and survey-related questions (whether the respondents liked the survey, found it easy, and answered from a PC) on at least one of the dependent variables (ideal or maximum lengths). Finally, we found only small differences (less than two min) between stated and observed lengths.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

Metadata export


+ Search Authors in

+ Page Views

Hits per month over past year

Detailed information

You have found an error? Please let us know about your desired correction here: E-Mail

Actions (login required)

Show item Show item