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Improving Survey Response Rates in Online Panels
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Improving Survey Response Rates in Online Panels

Effects of Low-Cost Incentives and Cost-Free Text Appeal Interventions

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Identifying ways to efficiently maximize the response rate to surveys is important to survey-based research. However, evidence on the response rate effect of donation incentives and especially altruistic and egotistic-type text appeal interventions is sparse and ambiguous. By a randomized survey experiment among 6,162 members of an online survey panel, this article shows how low-cost incentives and cost-free text appeal interventions may impact the survey response rate in online panels. The experimental treatments comprise (a) a cash prize lottery incentive, (b) two donation incentives equating survey response with a monetary donation to a good cause, (c) an egotistic-type text appeal, and (d) an altruistic-type text appeal. Relative to a control group, we find higher response rates among the recipients of the egotistic-type text appeal and the lottery incentive. Donation incentives yield lower response rates.
Pedersen, M. J., & Nielsen, C. V. (2016). Improving Survey Response Rates in Online Panels: Effects of Low-Cost Incentives and Cost-Free Text Appeal Interventions. Social Science Computer Review, 34(2), 229-243. DOI: 10.1177/0894439314563916
Author(s) Mogens Jin Pedersen, SFI
Christian Videbæk Nielsen
Month of publish April 2016
Published in Social Science Computer Review
Language English
Department Vulnerable Children, Day Care and Schooling
keywords Theory and methods

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