Most survey questions are closed questions, where respondents have to select an answer from a proposed set of alternatives. However, a lot of surveys also include, at least occasionally, some open questions. Open questions that call for elaborated and developed answers, called “open narrative questions”, are used when the researchers want to go deeper into what the respondents think. This paper compares the answers to open narrative questions when the respondent is participating in a PC survey, in a smartphone-not-optimised survey or in a smartphone-optimised survey. The experiment was carried out in Spain using data collected by the Netquest online access panel. Respondents were assigned randomly to each type of device and survey format, in two successive waves. Because respondents have to type in their answer, we expect differences between devices, linked with the size and the kind of keyboards (i.e. physical versus digital, touch-screen or not). Differences are observed between answers that come from PCs and smartphones for the response time per written character, for the number of total characters and for the use of abbreviations, but not for the non-answer and non-substantive responses. No differences are observed between optimised and not optimised versions for smartphones, except for the response time per character written.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2015
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