Device effects on survey response quality. A comparison of smartphone, tablet and PC responses on a cross sectional probability sample

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Abstract

Increasing use of web surveys and different devices for survey completion calls for examination of device effects on survey response quality. Whereas most previous studies are based on web panels, subgroups (e.g. students) or short questionnaires designed for device experiments, compelling participants to respond through specific devices, this study is based on two large nationally representative cross sectional samples (ISSP 2018 and ISSP 2019) where completion device was optional. Seven indicators of response quality are applied, allowing a comparison among survey participants answering the questionnaire by smartphone, tablet and by PC. Results are in line with previous findings, and do not give support to any assumptions of device effects in the quality of responses. Respondents’ self-evaluated engagement in survey completion do not differ across devices, and only small and non-systematic differences between devices on satisficing indicators such as the tendency to agree regardless of question content (acquiescence), non-substantive answers, selection of mid-point response options and primacy effects, and straightlining are identified. Controlling the associations between response device and the response quality indicators for self-selection biases did not change the overall result.
Original languageDanish
JournalSurvey Methods: Insights from the field
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020

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