Does mode of administration impact on quality of data? Comparing a traditional survey versus an online survey via a Voting Advice Application

Keywords: survey modes, online surveys, propensity score matching, mode effects, satisficing, social desirability, voting advice applications

Abstract

This paper compares two modes of administering an election survey: a traditional, door-to-door survey and an identical online version promoted via a Voting Advice Application. Whereas online political surveys are known to suffer from self-selection bias of politically interested respondents, traditional surveys are plagued with socially desirable responding and are susceptible to the effects of satisficing and other fatigue-related effects. Using a propensity score matching methodology, we examine the extent to which such differences exist between the two modes of administration. While we report mixed findings regarding the structure of respondents’ answer patterns, significant differences emerged in relation to social desirability bias with the offline group being more ‘affected’ than the online group.

Author Biographies

Vasiliki Triga, Cyprus University of Technology
Dr. Vasiliki Triga (PhD, European University Institute) is currently Assistant Professor at the Cyprus University of Technology, Department of Communication and Internet Studies. Her current research lies in the field of Southern Politics and the Economic Crisis, Social movements and Online Collective Identities, European Referendums and internet based applications and political processes like Voting Advice Applications. She is co-author of the book Referendums and the European Union: A Comparative Inquiry, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.
Vasilis Manavopoulos, Cyprus University of Cyprus
Vasilis Manavopoulos is currently a PhD researcher in the Department of Communication and Internet Studies at the Cyprus University of Technology. He holds a degree in Psychology from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki (Greece), a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Master’s Diploma in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). His research interests include protest and social movements, Voting Advice Applications and mapping of the political space in Europe.
Published
2019-03-20
How to Cite
Triga, V., & Manavopoulos, V. (2019). Does mode of administration impact on quality of data? Comparing a traditional survey versus an online survey via a Voting Advice Application. Survey Research Methods, 13(2), 181-194. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2019.v13i2.7392
Section
Articles