Incentive forms and exploitation quotas in postal surveys: testing of the reciprocity hypothesis

Diekmann, Andreas; Jann, Ben (2001). Incentive forms and exploitation quotas in postal surveys: testing of the reciprocity hypothesis. ZUMA-Nachrichten, 25(48), pp. 18-27. ZUMA

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The paper presents findings from a study on the effect of promising a reward versus providing a reward on response rates to a mail survey. Two experimental groups and a control group were involved (N=200 in each). The incentive used in each case was a phone card to the value of 10 Swiss Francs (about 6 US Dollar). Subjects in the first experimental group were promised a phone card if they returned the completed questionnaire, those in the second group received a phone card with the first mailing. The control group were not given or offered on incentive. Subjects were assigned randomly to an experimental group or the control group. The promise of an incentive did not improve response, while there was a significantly higher rate of response (about 10 percent points) among the group who received a telephonecard with the first mailing. The findings support the hypothesis of reciprocity which assumes that people will behave in a reciprocal fashion, even if this is not in their narrow material self-interest.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Diekmann, Andreas and Jann, Ben

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0941-1670

Publisher:

ZUMA

Language:

German

Submitter:

Ben Jann

Date Deposited:

20 Apr 2016 17:00

Last Modified:

20 Apr 2016 17:00

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67684

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67684

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