Fred Oswald Rice University – Department of Psychology Jeff Stanton Syracuse University – School of Information Studies Kauffman Roundtable on Establishment Surveys August 9, 2011 Reducing Response Burden
Reducing Response Burden Goals Reduce time of administration and associated costs Increase response rates, compliance, fewer missing data, Decrease survey fatigue and increase willingness to re-engage over time Effects Increase information yield per unit of response time/effort Balance multiple stakeholder survey goals based on “lean” and less reliable information sources
Approaches and Constraints Goal: No practical loss in reliability or validity at the desired aggregate level (unit, sub-unit/cluster) Approaches Reduce instructions/explanatory material Reduce item redundancy Distribute subsets of items strategically across units, using available data or imputation to complete analyses Automate field completion with NLP and scrapers Constraints Each approach has intrinsic weaknesses Stakeholders wedded to particular items Longitudinal comparability limits changes
Research on Response Burden Example: How to determine efficient item assignments to sub-samples, given available item information, precision goals, and stakeholder concerns? Given different approaches (e.g., multiple imputation) what is the maximum reduction in item content before loss of precision becomes intolerable? How redundant are components of a profile (so certain items ‘drive’ a profile)? What are stakeholder reactions to various imputation/analysis strategies? Our Expertise Methods generalists who examine technology and statistical tools to inform practical goals of survey development and test characteristics Statistical tools: Item response theory, multi-level and cross-classified models, meta-analysis, machine learning Technology tools: Web-based surveys, data scrapers, alternative data collection methods
Selected Papers Non-response issues Converse, P. D., Wolfe, E. W., Huang, X., & Oswald, F. L. (2008). Response rates for mixed-mode surveys using mail and email/web. American Journal of Evaluation, 29, 99-107. Rogelberg, S. G, & Stanton, J. M. (2007). Understanding and dealing with organizational survey nonresponse. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 195-209. Wolfe, E. W., Converse, P. D., & Oswald, F. L. (2008). Item-level non-response rates in an attitudinal survey of teachers delivered via mail and web. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14, 35-66. Shortening measures Donnellan, M. B., Oswald, F. L., Baird, B. M., & Lucas, R. E. (2006). The Mini-IPIP scales: Tiny-yet-effective measures of the Big Five factors of personality. Psychological Assessment, 18, 192-203. Russell, S.R., Spitzmüller, C., Lin, L.F., Stanton, J.M., Smith, P.C., & Ironson, G. H. (2004). Shorter can also be better: The abridged Job in General Measure. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64 (5), 878-893. Stanton, J. M., Sinar, E. F., Balzer, W. K., & Smith, P. C. (2002). Issues and strategies for reducing the length of self-report scales. Personnel Psychology, 55 (1), 167-193. Stanton, J. M. (2000). Empirical distributions of correlations as a tool for scale reduction. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 32, 403-406. Technology issues Rogelberg, S. G., Church, A. H., Waclawski, J., & Stanton, J. M. (2002). Organizational Survey Research: Overview, the Internet/intranet and present practices of concern. In S. G. Rogelberg (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell. Stanton, J. M., & Rogelberg, S. G. (2001). Using Internet/Intranet Web Pages to Collect Organizational Research Data. Organizational Research Methods, 4, 199-216. Stanton, J. M. (1998). An empirical assessment of data collection using the Internet. Personnel Psychology, 51, 709-725. Parallel forms (item banking, test security) Oswald, F. L., Friede, A. J., Schmitt, N., Kim, B. K., & Ramsay, L. J. (2005). Extending a practical method for developing alternate test forms using independent sets of items. Organizational Research Methods, 8, 149-164.