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Respondent Fatigue

Edited by: Published: 2008
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Respondent fatigue is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs when survey participants become tired of the survey task and the quality of the data they provide begins to deteriorate. It occurs when survey participants' attention and motivation drop toward later sections of a questionnaire. Tired or bored respondents may more often answer "don't know," engage in "straight-line" responding (i.e. choosing answers down the same column on a page), give more perfunctory answers, or give up answering the questionnaire altogether. Thus, the causes for, and consequences of, respondent fatigue, and possible ways of measuring and controlling for it, should be taken into account when deciding on the length of the questionnaire, question ordering, survey design, and interviewer training.

Participating in a survey requires time and effort; respondents ...

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