International Journal of Testing | VOL. 22
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Survey mode and data quality: Careless responding across three modes in cross-cultural contexts

Publication Date Apr 3, 2022

Abstract

Much psychological research depends on participants’ diligence in filling out materials such as surveys. However, not all participants are motivated to respond attentively, which leads to unintended issues with data quality, known as careless responding. Our question is: how do different modes of data collection—paper/pencil, computer/web-based, and smartphone—affect participants’ diligence vs. “careless responding” tendencies and, thus, data quality? Results from prior studies suggest that different data collection modes produce a comparable prevalence of careless responding tendencies. However, as technology develops and data are collected with increasingly diversified populations, this question needs to be readdressed and taken further. The present research examined the effect of survey mode on careless responding in a repeated-measures design with data from three different samples. First, in a sample of working adults from China, we found that participants were slightly more careless when completing computer/web-based survey materials than in paper/pencil mode. Next, in a German student sample, participants were slightly more careless when completing the paper/pencil mode compared to the smartphone mode. Finally, in a sample of Chinese-speaking students, we found no difference between modes. Overall, in a meta-analysis of the findings, we found minimal difference between modes across cultures. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Concepts

Careless Responding Different Modes Of Data Collection Data Collection Modes Data Quality Survey Mode Cross-cultural Contexts Repeated-measures Design Survey Data Quality Practical Implications Collection Modes

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