Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: Experimental Results for the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and the Unmatched Count Technique (UCT)

Contents:

Author Info

  • Elisabeth Coutts

    ()

  • Ben Jann

    ()

Registered author(s):

Abstract

Gaining valid answers to so-called sensitive questions is an age-old problem in survey research. Various techniques have been developed to guarantee anonymity and minimize the respondent's feelings of jeopardy. Two such techniques are the randomized response technique (RRT) and the unmatched count technique (UCT). In this study we evaluate the effectiveness of different implementations of the RRT (using a forced-response design) in a computer-assisted setting and also compare the use of the RRT to that of the UCT. The techniques are evaluated according to various quality criteria, such as the prevalence estimates they provide, the ease of their use, and respondent trust in the techniques. Our results indicate that the RRTs are problematic with respect to several domains, such as the limited trust they inspire and non-response, and that the RRT estimates are unreliable due to a strong false "no" bias, especially for the more sensitive questions. The UCT, however, performed well compared to the RRTs on all the evaluated measures. The UCT estimates also had more face validity than the RRT estimates. We conclude that the UCT is a promising alternative to RRT in self-administered surveys and that future research should be directed towards evaluating and improving the technique.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repec.ethz.ch/ets/papers/coutts_jann_online_rrt.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology in its series ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers with number 3.

as in new window
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:3

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.socio.ethz.ch/

Related research

Keywords: sensitive questions; online survey; randomized response technique; unmatched count technique; item count technique; methodological experiment;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Liu, Yin & Tian, Guo-Liang, 2013. "A variant of the parallel model for sample surveys with sensitive characteristics," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 115-135.
  2. Gueorguiev, Dimitar & Malesky, Edmund, 2012. "Foreign investment and bribery: A firm-level analysis of corruption in Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 111-129.
  3. Peter Preisendörfer, 2008. "Heikle Fragen in mündlichen Interviews: Ergebnisse einer Methodenstudie im studentischen Milieu (Sensitive Questions in Face-to-Face Interviews: Findings of a Methodological Study with University Stu," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 6, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology.
  4. Ivar Krumpal, 2013. "Determinants of social desirability bias in sensitive surveys: a literature review," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 2025-2047, June.
  5. Anatol-Fiete Näher & Ivar Krumpal, 2012. "Asking sensitive questions: the impact of forgiving wording and question context on social desirability bias," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(5), pages 1601-1616, August.
  6. Katherine B. Coffman & Lucas C. Coffman & Keith M. Marzilli Ericson, 2013. "The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Anti-Gay Sentiment are Substantially Underestimated," NBER Working Papers 19508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Klaus Friesenbichler & George Clarke & Michael Wong, 2014. "Price competition and market transparency: evidence from a random response technique," Empirica, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 5-21, February.
  8. Elisabeth Coutts† & Ben Jann & Ivar Krumpal & Anatol-Fiete Naeher, 2011. "Plagiarism in Student Papers: Prevalence Estimates Using Special Techniques for Sensitive Questions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(5-6), pages 749-760, November.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonas Blatter).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.