Respondent and response behavior in online panel surveys

Rettig, Tobias

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-627836
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2022
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Keusch, Florian
Date of oral examination: 29 July 2022
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > SFB 884
School of Social Sciences > Data Science (Blom 2017-2022)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Keywords (English): online survey , online panel , measurement error , respondent attention , memory effects
Abstract: Surveys have been an important tool for researchers across various fields for many decades. Whenever researchers draw inference from survey data, they need to be certain that the responses in their dataset accurately reflect the true information researchers sought to measure. Discrepancies between respondents’ “true” answer and the response they provide in a survey may lead researchers to draw inaccurate or incorrect conclusions. In this dissertation I examine two potential sources of such discrepancies due to measurement error and their influence on respondents’ cognitive response process: Respondent inattention, a situation in which respondents do not read or comprehend the question and instead arbitrarily select a response option, and memory effects, a situation in which respondents recognize a question that they have answered before and are subsequently influenced in their later response.

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