ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

Especially for You: Motivating Respondents in an Internet Panel by Offering Tailored Questions

Marije Oudejans

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 1 - Law Building, Room 024
Date: 2012-07-12 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2012-06-19


Almost no literature exists on the effects of the topic of the questionnaires on panel participation. In this paper we explored the effect of offering questions that are tailored to the personal interests of panel members on the evaluation of the questionnaire. This experiment has been embedded in the Dutch CentERdata LISS panel; a panel of 5.000 households that complete surveys every month.

First, the panel members were asked to name three topics they were most interested in. These topics were classified into about 40 categories. The two most interesting themes according to the panel members were ‘health’ and ‘politics’.

Next, we conducted an experiment consisting of four conditions. In the first condition respondents received a set of health-related questions at the end of the questionnaire. In the second version, respondents had to answer a set of questions on politics. In the third version, the panel members were presented 3 topics (health, politics and music) from which they could choose a topic themselves. In the fourth condition no extra questions were offered. In each condition we included 200 panel members who mentioned ‘health’ as an interesting topic, 200 panel members who brought up ‘politics’ as their favorite subject, 200 panel members who referred to a different topic and 200 panel members who could not mention a topic at all. We included the tailored questions in one of the monthly questionnaires; they were presented at the end, just before the evaluation. We looked at the effect of the extra questions on the evaluation of the entire survey and whether offering tailor-made questions every month has an effect on panel attrition.