Split Questionnaire Design
43 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2006
Date Written: January 2005
Instead of the heuristic randomization methods to design split questionnaires that are currently used in applied and academic research, we develop a methodology to design the split questionnaire to minimize information loss. Because the number of possible questionnaire designs is exponential in the number of questions, we apply the Modified Federov algorithm, using Kullback Leibler Distance as a design criterion, to find the optimal splits. First of all, we illustrate the efficiency of the Modified Federov Algorithm on a small synthetic questionnaire, which enables the enumeration of all possible designs for comparison. Second, we compare the efficiency of split questionnaires generated with the proposed method to multiple matrix sampling (randomly generated designs) and a heuristic procedure based on principal components analysis, on synthetic and empirical data. We generate split questionnaire designs selecting either entire blocks of questions (between-block design) or sets of questions in each block (withinblock design). Finally, we illustrate that due to reduced respondent burden the quality of data using split designs increases, compared to a full questionnaire in a field study.
Keywords: split questionnaire, questionnaire design, Modified Federov Algorithm
JEL Classification: C42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation