Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: An Experimental Comparison of the RRT and the Crosswise Model

Höglinger, Marc; Jann, Ben; Diekmann, Andreas (13 August 2013). Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys: An Experimental Comparison of the RRT and the Crosswise Model (Unpublished). In: Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. New York City. 10.-13.08.2013.

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Self-administered online surveys provide a higher level of privacy protection to respondents than surveys administered by an interviewer. Yet, studies show that asking sensitive questions is problematic also in self-administered mode. Because respondents might not be willing to reveal the truth and provide answers that are subject to social desirability bias, the validity of prevalence estimates of sensitive behaviors gained via online surveys can be challenged. A wellknown method to combat these problems is the Randomized Response Technique (RRT). However, convincing evidence that the RRT provides more valid estimates than direct questioning in online mode is still lacking. Moreover, an alternative approach called the Crosswise Model (CM) has recently been suggested to overcome some of the deficiencies of the RRT. We therefore conducted an experimental study in which different implementations of the RRT and the CM have been tested and compared to direct questioning. Our study is a large-scale online survey on sensitive behaviors by students such as cheating in exams and paper plagiarism. The results of the study reveal poor per-formance of the RRT, while the CM yielded significantly higher estimates of sensitive behaviors than direct questioning. We conclude that the CM is a promising approach for asking sensitive questions in self-administered surveys.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Jann, Ben

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ben Jann

Date Deposited:

26 May 2014 11:37

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2015 09:07

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.48658

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/48658

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