Effects of Header Images on Different Devices in Web Surveys


  • Miriam Trübner University of Paderborn




context effects, device effects, header images, web surveys


Header images are typically included in web surveys to make surveys more appealing for respondents. However, headers might also induce a systematic bias in response behavior. In order to examine both the potential effects on engagement and the context effects of header images, an experiment embedded in a web survey on students’ time use and stress was conducted on the basis of a probability sample of 1,326 students at the University of Bonn. Respondents were presented either with a picture of an auditorium with students sitting in class, a picture of leisure activities on campus, or no picture, respectively. To control for position effects, pictures were placed either in the upper right or upper left of the questionnaire. The results show that header images have no effect on survey engagement, but when faced with a header picture, respondents in the picture conditions evaluate their time in class differently compared to respondents in the control group. While the device providing the visibility makes no difference, effects are only significant when the picture is placed on the left side of the screen. In sum, the interaction of header placement and the content-related proximity of header content and question may alter response behavior.

Author Biography

Miriam Trübner, University of Paderborn

research assistant department of sociology


Additional Files



How to Cite

Trübner, M. (2020). Effects of Header Images on Different Devices in Web Surveys. Survey Research Methods, 14(1), 43–53. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2020.v14i1.7367




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