Advances in Applied Methods and Research Strategies
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Author: Marcel Das,Peter Ester,Lars Kaczmirek
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
"An absolutely delightful journey through the history and present of Internet surveys, this fascinating book explains how probability sampling can be implemented to produce a representative panel of respondents and describes the range of fascinating data that can then be collected from these participants. Eye tracking, biomarkers, visual layout, paradata, and measurement on sensitive topics are just a few of the themes examined by some of the world's leading survey methodologists. This book is must-have for anyone interested in one of the most important innovations in the research world."- Jon Krosnick, Stanford University, USA "The frequency with which Web surveys are used is in sharp contrast with the quality of the studies. Without a proper sampling design one cannot say anything about the population. Social and Behavioral Research and the Internet illustrates and discusses in a very clear way how Web surveys can be used in a scientific way. We hope that the described approach will be taken over by many other research institutions. This would...considerably improve social and behavioral science research." - Willem Saris, President of the European Survey Research Association Highlighting the progress made by research in using Web-based surveys for data collection, this timely volume summarizes the experiences of leading American and European behavioral and social scientists who collect data using the Internet. Some chapters present theory, methodology, design, and implementation, while others focus on best practice examples or issues such as data quality and the understanding of paradata. A number of contributors applied innovative Web-based research methods to the LISS panel of CentERdata collected from over 5,000 Dutch households. Their findings are presented in the book. The book addresses practical issues such as data quality, how to reach difficult target groups, how to design a survey to maximize response, and ethical issues that need to be considered. Innovative applications such as the use of biomarkers and eye-tracking techniques are also explored. Part I provides an overview of Internet survey research, including its methodologies, strengths, challenges, and best practices. Innovative ways to minimize sources of error are provided along with a review of mixed-mode designs, how to design a scientifically sound longitudinal panel and avoid sampling problems, and how to address ethical requirements in Web surveys. Part II focuses on advanced applications, including the impact of visual design on the interpretability of survey questions, the impact survey usability has on respondents' answers, design features that increase interaction, and how Internet surveys can be effectively used to study sensitive issues. Part III addresses data quality, sample selection, measurement and nonresponse error, and new applications for collecting online data. The issue of underrepresentation of certain groups in Internet research and the measures most effective at reducing it are also addressed. The book concludes with a discussion of the importance of paradata and the Web data collection process in general, followed by chapters with innovative experiments using eye-tracking techniques and biomarker data. This practical book will appeal to practitioners from market survey research institutes and researchers in disciplines such as psychology, education, sociology, political science, health studies, marketing, economics, and business who use the Internet for data collection, but is also an ideal supplement for graduate or upper-level undergraduate courses on (Internet) research methods or data collection taught in these fields.