Internet VS. telephone data collection

Date of publication: September 1, 2000


With the increasing use of the Internet as a medium for survey data collection, survey program managers might be encouraged to transition programs to the Internet that have previously been conducted using the telephone. They might also consider using a mixed-mode approach, combining data collected from both the Internet and telephone. Some caution, however, should be exercised. This paper describes a study designed to isolate differences in responses to Internet surveys and phone surveys relating specifically to differing survey methods. Results indicate that scale usage can vary considerably between the two methods, with phone respondents more likely to use endpoints of scales in which all response alternatives are verbally labeled. By contrast, responses are much more similar when a numerical scale is used and only the endpoints are verbally labeled. The study did indicate, however, that surveys can take less time for respondents using the internet and that internet respondents express more willingness to participate in future survey projects.

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