The Contribution Of Respondent Computer Experience On Primacy Effect And Satisficing In Internet Surveys
Cross, Freddie Lee
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ABSTRACT This study, conducted in the spring of 2005, was designed to assess the contribution of computer experience on primacy effect and satisficing in online survey formats. Although regression analysis found that survey format can predict primacy effect, computer experience did not add to the explanation of the variance in primacy effect. Similarly, survey format was found to be a predictor for satisficing, however, computer experience did not add to the explanation of the variance in satisficing. In addition, there was not a significant correlation between computer experience and the number of words used to answer open-ended questions. Lack of variability of computer experience among respondents was a limitation in this study. Six survey formats (answer choices listed visible vertical, visible horizontal, pull-down menu, or check-all-that-apply with two surveys for each formats; answer choices listed in forward order and answer choices listed in reverse) were used to test for primacy effect. Initial linear regressions revealed that 6 of the 85 questions resulted in a positive and significant beta indicating primacy effect. Further regression analysis compared horizontally listed answer choices and pull-down menu survey formats individually against the vertical and visible answer choice survey format to determine if survey format explained a significant proportion of the variance in primacy effect. The interaction between survey format and answer order did not produce a significant positive correlation with primacy effect, therefore further investigation of the contribution of computer experience on primacy effect in those two survey formats was not necessary. Linear regression showed that the check-all-that-apply answer format does significantly explain the variance in primacy effect, however further analysis showed that computer experience did not significantly explain additional variance in primacy effect. Regression analysis showed that satisficing was more evident in the matrix survey format when compared with the visible vertical survey format, however computer experience did not significantly explain the variance in satisficing in these two survey formats. Finally, regression analysis failed to show that computer experience had an effect on the number of words used to answer open-ended questions (an indication of satisficing).
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