Using motivational statements in web instrument design to reduce item missing rates in a mixed-mode context

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Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Tarek Al Baghal and Peter Lynn

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Web surveys generally produce higher item nonresponse than face-to-face administration.This study examines alternative forms of motivational statements to reduce item nonresponsein a web survey, using an experiment in the UKHLS Innovation Panel. Findings show that amotivational statement following immediately after an unanswered item outperforms eitherthe control, presenting only opt-out options after an initial skip attempt, or a later-placedmotivational statement. The immediate prompt reduces item nonresponse to levels equivalentto a face-to-face version, whereas other versions show increased missingness. The resultssuggest practical design implications in reduction of item nonresponse when using a webdesign, particularly the use and placement of motivational statements.

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  1. Using motivational statements in web-instrument design to reduce item-missing rates in a mixed-mode context

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