JOS

Abstract
Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.27, No.2, 2011. pp. 393414

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Applying Motivation Theory to Achieve Increased Response Rates, Respondent Satisfaction and Data Quality

Abstract:
Response rates to surveys are declining in most countries. Attempts to persuade or pressure sample persons to increase response might be counter-productive in the longterm because they can negatively affect attitudes towards future surveys. Targeting respondents’ own motivation to participate in surveys is an alternative approach to achieving higher response rates. Self-Determination Theory provides a theoretical framework for how intrinsic motivation can be stimulated. We used Self-Determination Theory as inspiration to redesign a self-administered health-related survey. Two versions of the questionnaire and two data collection methods were used in an experimental design. Effects were measured in terms of response rates, respondent satisfaction and data quality. The results suggest that it is possible to improve response rates in a way that also promotes data quality and positive experiences for the respondents.

Keywords:
Survey design, respondent motivation, Self-Determination Theory, intrinsic motivation, questionnaire

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