Vera Toepoel’s practical, how-to guide to doing surveys online takes you through the entire process of using surveys, from systematically recruiting respondents, to designing the internet survey, to processing the survey data and writing it up. This book helps students and researchers in identifying possible strategies to make the best use of online surveys, providing pro’s and con’s, and do’s and don’ts for each strategy. It also explores the latest opportunities and developments that have arisen in the field of online surveys, including using social networks, and provides expert guidance and examples of best practice throughout. Suitable for those starting a research project or conducting a survey in a professional capacity, this book is the ideal go-to reference for anyone using internet surveys, be it a beginner or a more experienced survey researcher.

Developing the Survey: Questions and Answers

INTRODUCTORY CASE: Response options

Response categories in survey questions are often chosen on the basis of the knowledge or intuition of the researcher. Respondents use the response alternatives to determine the meaning of the question and use the frequency range suggested by the response alternatives as a frame of reference, extracting information about presumably common answers from the values stated in the scale.

In an experiment, Toepoel et al. (2009) used four questions to test if differences in difficulty of information processing influence response category effects. They used a low response scale, a high response scale and an open-ended question to test the effect of response options. Answers were dichotomized to compare results (answer options 1 to 5 in format ...

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