Does Survey Mode Still Matter? Findings from a 2010 Multi-Mode Comparison

37 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011  

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government

Brian F. Schaffner

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 13, 2011

Abstract

In this paper, we present data from a three-mode survey comparison study carried out in 2010. National surveys were fielded at the same time over the Internet (using an opt-in Internet panel), by telephone with live interviews (using a national RDD sample of landlines and cell phones), and by mail (using a national sample of residential addresses). Each survey utilized a nearly identical questionnaire soliciting information across a range of political and social indicators, many of which can be validated with government data. Comparing the findings from the modes to each other and the validated benchmarks, we demonstrate that a carefully executed opt-in Internet panel produces estimates that are as accurate as a telephone survey and that the two modes differ little in their estimates of other political indicators and their correlates.

Keywords: surveys, polls, internet, opt-in

Suggested Citation

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Schaffner, Brian F., Does Survey Mode Still Matter? Findings from a 2010 Multi-Mode Comparison (June 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1868229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1868229

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brian F. Schaffner (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

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