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Response Patterns in Computer-Administered Surveys
Unformatted Document Text:  Computer Administered Surveys 18 indicates that users tend to skip privacy policies. On the surface, this finding, while indicating a disregard for personal privacy, is not necessarily a terrible thing. However, extending these results into the realm of the hypothetical and intertwining that realm with the world of small print, the support of Hypothesis 3 shows that many Internet users – if these results can be considered externally valid – are susceptible to the misuse or outright theft of their personal information; they might even be opening themselves to future difficulties stemming from the increasingly-obtrusive issue of identity theft. Simply listening to consumer advocate radio programs reveals the bad privacy habits held by some of the populace; should these habits extend to the Internet, a phenomenon that appears to be spreading, it is only a matter of time before a single click becomes a binding contract and the fine print, as in paper contracts and face-to-face agreements, becomes ignored. Furthermore, when the results of Hypothesis 3 are considered along with the results of Research Question 3, these phenomena become even more startling. Research Question 1 examined the responses of Groups 6 and 7, and those participants’ responses to Question 17. The results indicated that participants were overwhelmingly likely to accept a cookie, but only reasonably likely to know what a cookie was. Upon further review of Question 17, it became curious that participants would allow something on their computer of which they had no prior knowledge. Perhaps the felt need to respond in a fashion seemingly socially-desirable overrode their initial qualms about accepting the cookie; in addition, the request to place the cookie on a participant’s computer was couched in very friendly, academic terms. Fortunately for the participants in this survey, malicious or mischievous actions were neither intended nor enacted, but examination of the data related to this research question indicates further research is needed to test this effect.

Authors: Roseman, Joshua. and Mitrook, Michael.
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Computer Administered Surveys
18
indicates that users tend to skip privacy policies. On the surface, this finding, while indicating
a disregard for personal privacy, is not necessarily a terrible thing. However, extending these
results into the realm of the hypothetical and intertwining that realm with the world of small
print, the support of Hypothesis 3 shows that many Internet users – if these results can be
considered externally valid – are susceptible to the misuse or outright theft of their personal
information; they might even be opening themselves to future difficulties stemming from the
increasingly-obtrusive issue of identity theft. Simply listening to consumer advocate radio
programs reveals the bad privacy habits held by some of the populace; should these habits
extend to the Internet, a phenomenon that appears to be spreading, it is only a matter of time
before a single click becomes a binding contract and the fine print, as in paper contracts and
face-to-face agreements, becomes ignored. Furthermore, when the results of Hypothesis 3 are
considered along with the results of Research Question 3, these phenomena become even
more startling.
Research Question 1 examined the responses of Groups 6 and 7, and those
participants’ responses to Question 17. The results indicated that participants were
overwhelmingly likely to accept a cookie, but only reasonably likely to know what a cookie
was. Upon further review of Question 17, it became curious that participants would allow
something on their computer of which they had no prior knowledge. Perhaps the felt need to
respond in a fashion seemingly socially-desirable overrode their initial qualms about
accepting the cookie; in addition, the request to place the cookie on a participant’s computer
was couched in very friendly, academic terms. Fortunately for the participants in this survey,
malicious or mischievous actions were neither intended nor enacted, but examination of the
data related to this research question indicates further research is needed to test this effect.


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