Straightlining in Web survey panels over time

  • Matthias Schonlau University of Waterloo
  • Vera Toepoel Utrecht University
Keywords: data quality, grid question, matrix question, satisficing, panel conditioning

Abstract

Straightlining, an indicator of satisficing, refers to giving the same answer in a series of questions arranged on a grid. We investigated whether straightlining changes with respondents’ panel experience in two open-access Internet panels in the Netherlands: the LISS and Dutch Immigrant panels. Specifically, we considered straightlining on 10 grid questions in LISS core modules (7 waves) and on a grid of evaluation questions in both the LISS panel (150+ waves) and the Dutch immigrant panel (50+ waves). For both core modules and evaluation questions we found that straightlining increases with respondents’ panel experience for at least three years. Straightlining is also associated with younger age and non-western 1st generation immigrants. Where straightlining was a plausible set of answers, prevalence of straightlining was much larger (15-40%) than where straightlining was implausible (<2% in wave 1).

Author Biographies

Matthias Schonlau, University of Waterloo
Dep of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Professor
Vera Toepoel, Utrecht University
Department of Methods and Statistics Assistant Professor
Published
2015-07-31
How to Cite
Schonlau, M., & Toepoel, V. (2015). Straightlining in Web survey panels over time. Survey Research Methods, 9(2), 125-137. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2015.v9i2.6128
Section
Articles