What’s the Benefit of a Video? The Effect of Nonmaterial Incentives on Response Rate and Bias in Web Surveys

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

Traditional survey research faces declining response rates due to changing cultural habits and technological developments. Researchers have developed novel approaches to increase respondents’ likelihood of participating in web surveys. However, we lack information about whether these methods indeed increase response rates and, if so, whether they bias the resulting data. This article focuses on the use of nonmaterial incentives in the form of a video that provides the invitees with information tailored to their life situation. Analysis of our experimental data shows that instead of increasing respondents’ probability of starting the survey, the video treatments actually decrease it. We provide evidence that the lower salience of the intrinsic benefits of survey participation in the invitation email significantly contributes to this reduction. Additionally, the effect of the nonmaterial incentive differs across subgroups, affecting nonresponse biases in line with employment status, gender, and migration background. We therefore conclude that using additional information in the form of a video as a nonmaterial survey incentive is only suitable under specific conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-716
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504002 Sociology of work
  • 504007 Empirical social research

Keywords

  • BEHAVIOR
  • COVERAGE
  • DATA QUALITY
  • FEEDBACK
  • IMPACT
  • METAANALYSIS
  • MODES
  • NONRESPONSE BIAS
  • SURVEY PARTICIPATION
  • TOPIC INTEREST
  • leverage-salience theory
  • nonresponse bias
  • response rate
  • social exchange theory
  • survey methodology
  • web surveys

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