Qual Quant (2013) 47:2659–2669
Does survey experience affect respondents’ reported
level of satisfaction?
André Schultz Christensen · Jacob Ladenburg
Published online: 1 March 2012
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Abstract Web surveys are becoming an indispensable tool for quantitative researchers, and
online survey panels have proliferated in recent years. However, little research has addressed
the challenges of using online panels, namely the potential effects of respondents’ survey
experience, also known as panel conditioning. This paper is based on a study of Danish par-
ents’ day care arrangements and their associated level of satisfaction. A survey was conducted
through an online panel and included measurements of past survey participation. Through
tests of independence on key variables and the application of various ordered logit models,
we ﬁnd no significant evidence that survey experience affects respondents’ reported level
of satisfaction. These results persist when testing the potential interaction between survey
experience and experiences with day care services. Furthermore, we relate our results to the
existing literature and discuss the possibility of different effects cancelling each other out.
This leads us to recommendations on the use of online panels and suggestions for elaboration
in future research.
Keywords Panel conditioning · Webpanels · Web surveys · Satisfaction
Web surveys have become an increasingly important tool for researchers to collect data.
Compared to the use of personal interviews, telephone, mail and other survey modes, web
surveys are relatively quick and easy to carry out and constitute a more cost-efﬁcient method
of reaching a broader public (Couper 2000). Especially online survey panels have proliferated
in recent years since they offer a permanent supply of respondents available for surveying
(Coen et al. 2005).
A. S. Christensen
University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark
J. Ladenburg (
AKF, Danish Institute of Governmental Research, Købmagergade 22, 1150 Copenhagen K, Denmark