Administered versus self-administered online surveys: Are the findings comparable?

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Revista Espanola de Investigaciones Sociologicas, ISSN: 0210-5233, Vol: 136, Issue: 136, Page: 49-90

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Vidal Díaz de Rada
Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas
Social Sciences
article description
This paper examines whether the results of in-person and telephone survey interviews are equivalent to those obtained via self-administered, on-line questionnaires. Of the eleven variables analyzed, five showed significantly different levels of item non-response (the highest in the on-line survey). Analysis of item-response distributions across survey formats reveals differences in all variables, although there is more response pattern similarity between in-person and telephone interviewer-administered surveys than between either of these and the self-administered format. While respondents to both interviewer-administered survey formats state their belief in the benefit to be gained from surveys and particularly in the sincerity of survey respondents, the level of approval is always higher among those interviewed in person. The on-line respondents show greater confidence in surveys, more interest in following survey-related news items and more faith in their usefulness.