Webinar: Quantifying the impact of web mode on analyses of data

When: Thu 4 Apr 2019 03:00 pm - Thu 4 Apr 2019 04:00 pm
Where: University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ - View Map

In this webinar, Paul Clarke will discuss the consequences of Understanding Society’s decision to give participants the option of completing the survey questionnaire online via their web browsers.  He’ll give some background about why the move to web is taking place, and discuss why survey mode can make such a difference to the results we find.

Paul will formally define what is meant by a mode effect and why these can be difficult to estimate – and why experiments are needed – and briefly review evidence from other studies (including the Understanding Society Innovation Panel) about the size of these effects;  this review will also discuss and critique the existing approaches to estimating mode effects

The webinar will describe the experiment set up by the Understanding Society team, give an overview of the ‘instrumental variable’ methods we use to estimate these effects, and how we addressed the challenge of understanding the impact of web mode when there are a wide range of analyses and statistical models we could use.

To illustrate what we did, we take the user through two examples in which we estimate the mode effects, interpret what these effects mean for data quality, and show the difference that using web instead of face-to-face made to these analyses.  We finish by describing a simple way – using a random subsample of participants who were interviewed face-to-face - for users to check whether they need to worry about the effect of web mode, and what to do if they find one.