Social and Behavioral Research and the Internet
Highlighting the progress made by researchers in using Web-based surveys for data collection, this timely volume summarizes the experiences of leading American and European behavioral and social scientists who collected 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 appeals 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.
Peter Ester is Professor of Labour Markets Issues at Rotterdam University and a former Professor of Sociology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He is former chairman of the Board of Overseers of CentERdata, Board member of Statistics in the Netherlands, and of IAB – the federal German Institute of Employment Research, and Crown Member of the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER). He has published extensively on cross-national and intergenerational trends in attitudes and values. Ester was involved in numerous national and international social survey projects in the last 25 years. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1984.
Lars Kaczmirek is a survey researcher at GESIS- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim, Germany. His research focuses on methodology in online surveys, reducing survey error, website evaluation, and usability issues. He has managed and reviewed a large number of national and international online survey projects. Kaczmirek is a member of the Board of the German Society for Online Research (DGOF) and a member of the Editorial Board of the Neue Schriften zur Online Forschung (New Publications in Online Research) book series. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Mannheim in 2008.
Data Sets: To access content details about each chapter and the links to the LISS Data Archive, click on the following Part titles and then the chapter of interest. A login/password is needed to download data files.