Sampling Questionnaire Design Interpretation Fieldwork Why Does It Matter?
What Are The Key Quality Elements? A broadly-recruited, representative, well-managed pool of respondents Respondents who respond honestly and conscientiously: What guarantees are there to guard against bad data, i.e. respondent cheating or not concentrating/caring in their responses… ? A well-designed survey instrument
How Do Respondents Fit In? Google “Market Research”464 million entries “Market Research Respondents” 2 million entries
What Is A ‘Professional Respondent’? Some assumptions: Quality of responses will be lower Motivated to maximize incentives, not by intrinsic interest Do too many surveys – become conditioned But what definition? Someone who gets paid?
“I am an IT Director with 7 wives…” Honesty Is The Issue
Smith and Hofma Brown, Harris Interactive New Typology Of “Bad” Respondents Hyperactive Respondents Too many surveys, too many panels Fraudulent Respondents Misrepresent themselves Inattentive Respondents Don’t put thought into answers Conditioned Respondents Have learned from past surveys
Hyperactive Respondents Do busy panelists provide bad data? Do the most responsive panelists take the surveys the fastest? Are the fastest surveys the ‘worst’?
Hyperactive Respondents US SurveySpot panel, 3 month internal tracker Two groups: –SurveySpot only –One or more other panels No difference in average time taken by each group Similar answers on motivation for joining: Motivated by chance to influence decisions –SurveySpot-only: 50% –More than one panel membership: 47%
Fraudulent Respondents How can you tell if someone is who they say they are? How can you stop multiple panel memberships using different identities? How can you tell if someone is just making up the answers?
Who Are You Today? Ask me something only I would/should know…..
Catch The Cheat… Respondents… Who have 23 different ailments Who report using non-existent brands Whose education doesn’t match their profession
Inattentive Respondents Fatigue leads them to skip questions Don’t pay attention to instructions May be inevitable after a certain length of survey
Related to interview length 5% baseline of inattention? Length of interview, minutes141921 Items155 Skipped all5%8%11% Inattentive Respondents
Respondents Speak Out Repetitive questions “sorry this survey was just too long.” “Sometimes it becomes so repetitive you say, ‘to hell with it, I don’t need this.’” “You think you are about done and the same questions start all over again.”
Time use > 7300 hours = 4 hours of sleep a night Time use > 8760 hours = no sleep, ever.. more hours than in a year 5% baseline of inattention? A really tough question set? Length of interview, minutes141921 >7300 hours5%6% >8760 hours3%4% Inattentive Respondents
Respondents Speak Out “…absolutely ridiculous… [questions like] ‘if this pizza was a person.’ ” “Why is this bottled water like your favorite pet?” “In filling out this survey it asked when I would buy a new house. I said “never”. The next several questions were regarding my new house and it required an answer…So I quit the survey and didn’t finish it.”
Conditioned Respondents Only give the answers they do because of what they have learned from previous surveys Or change behavior as a result of information from surveys Have no redeeming features But do such people exist…..?
TNS Experiment 3 groups of respondents High frequency – interviewed 5 times (188.8.131.52.5) Medium frequency – interviewed 3 times (1.3.5) Low frequency – interviewed 2 times (1.5) + Control group at wave 5 Same questionnaire Survey frequency not yet released by TNS UK, France, Germany n = 1202 (control = 1470)
Conditioned Respondents Evidence is hard to find Maybe surveys aren’t quite so important to respondents as they are to researchers! Could we be over-reacting and losing good respondents?
Respondents Speak Out “I would like to know why it is that practically every time I give my age I am refused the access to the survey? Is there something wrong with being 75 and in good health, mentally and physically?” Why do I spend 10 minutes answering questions on one of your surveys before I am given message ‘Sorry, you didn't qualify for this survey’. “I have not been able to take several [most] surveys because I work in the grocery industry. I don’t think it is fair. I AM A CONSUMER TOO … It is not like I work for a company that makes or sells one brand.”
Respondents Speak Out “…ability of the human eyes to see fonts of microscopic size. What’s with this survey? The font size was like.002.” “I said yes before; why are you going back and asking me the same question.” “Right to the point”…“if they say it’s 5 minutes, it’s 5 minutes.” “By and large ask sensible questions in a straightforward way.”
What Needs To Happen? Partnership…common terms and definitions Avoid red herrings We are not in the business of supplying bad panelists Survey design is critical We can’t do it alone