chapter  9
30 Pages

Using Interactive Features to Motivate and Probe Responses to Open-Ended Questions

WithMarije Oudejans

This chapter discusses the interactivity of the Web to adapt two specific interviewer strategies for encouraging quality responses to open-ended questions: motivational statements and follow-up probes. It also discusses the results of experiments testing the independent and combined effects of including motivational statements and follow-up probes on responses to open-ended questions in Internet surveys. Internet surveys are self-administered in that respondents initiate and control many aspects of the survey experience. The interactivity of Internet surveys offers new opportunities for providing feedback to respondents that may be used to help motivate them to answer open-ended questions and provide accurate and complete responses. Interviewers can play an important role in motivating respondents. Interviewer feedback increased the amount of information respondents reported to open-ended questions in face-to-face interviews. In telephone and face-to-face surveys, interviewers ask follow-up probes both to motivate respondents and to help ensure complete and accurate responses.