Design of Web Questionnaires: The Effect of Layout in Rating Scales
AbstractThis article shows that respondents gain meaning from visual cues in a web survey as well as from verbal cues (words).We manipulated the layout of a five point rating scale using verbal, graphical, numerical, and symbolic language. This paper extends the existing literature in four directions: (1) all languages (verbal, graphical, numeric, and symbolic) are individually manipulated on the same rating scale, (2) a heterogeneous sample is used, (3) in which way personal characteristics and a respondent's need to think and evaluate account for variance in survey responding is analyzed, and (4) a web survey is used.Our experiments show differences due to verbal and graphical language but no effects of numeric or symbolic language are found.Respondents with a high need for cognition and a high need to evaluate are affected more by layout than respondents with a low need to think or evaluate.Furthermore, men, the elderly, and the highly educated are the most sensible for layout effects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2006-30.
Date of creation: 2006
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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
web survey; questionnaire lay out; context effects; need for cognition; need to evaluate;
Other versions of this item:
- Toepoel, V. & Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 2009. "Design of web questionnaires: The effect of layout in rating scales," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3736476, Tilburg University.
- C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-05-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2006-05-27 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-ECM-2006-05-27 (Econometrics)
- NEP-EXP-2006-05-27 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-MKT-2006-05-27 (Marketing)
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- Toepoel, V. & Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 2008. "Design Effects in Web Surveys: Comparing Trained and Fresh Respondents," Discussion Paper 2008-51, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Toepoel, V. & Dillman, D.A., 2008. "Words, Numbers and Visual Heuristics in Web Surveys: Is there a Hierarchy of Importance?," Discussion Paper 2008-92, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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