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Response Patterns in Computer-Administered Surveys
Unformatted Document Text:  Computer Administered Surveys 20 use the Internet to collect personal data. This could indicate that participants believe their personal information is already forfeit, or that they simply do not care. Question 12 was one of only a few questions in the survey that directly addressed the sharing of personal information. The paucity of this type of question exists because the intent of the study was to keep participants from realizing what they were actually being tested for until the very end of the study. It was made difficult for participants to figure out the precise function of the study in order to keep responses as accurate and truthful as possible. Future researchers would probably benefit from a survey instrument that camouflaged more questions about personal information within a longer instrument. It is widely accepted that personal information should not be sent in e-mails – almost all e-mail services warn new users (and, often, current users) of the danger of passing personal information along in an e-mail. This question was initially intended to measure participants’ behavior as it relates to that policy. The Hypothesis 2 group provides the most accurate response to question 12 because their responses can be compared to their behaviors regarding personal information (in conditions 2 and 3). Research Question 3 examined the responses of Groups 4 and 5, and those participants’ responses to Question 22. The purpose of this question was to specifically examine socially-desirable response habits, and the observed results did generate some socially-desirable responses. Of the 78 participants in this response pool, only five read the privacy policy available before the survey began, but ten of the 75 participants in this response pool who answered question 22 indicated they always read privacy policies (the full breakdown of responses is in Chapter 4). The most telling statistic, though, is that a total of 36 participants (46%) in this group indicated that they either always read privacy policies or

Authors: Roseman, Joshua. and Mitrook, Michael.
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Computer Administered Surveys
20
use the Internet to collect personal data. This could indicate that participants believe their
personal information is already forfeit, or that they simply do not care.
Question 12 was one of only a few questions in the survey that directly addressed the
sharing of personal information. The paucity of this type of question exists because the intent
of the study was to keep participants from realizing what they were actually being tested for
until the very end of the study. It was made difficult for participants to figure out the precise
function of the study in order to keep responses as accurate and truthful as possible. Future
researchers would probably benefit from a survey instrument that camouflaged more
questions about personal information within a longer instrument.
It is widely accepted that personal information should not be sent in e-mails – almost
all e-mail services warn new users (and, often, current users) of the danger of passing personal
information along in an e-mail. This question was initially intended to measure participants’
behavior as it relates to that policy. The Hypothesis 2 group provides the most accurate
response to question 12 because their responses can be compared to their behaviors regarding
personal information (in conditions 2 and 3).
Research Question 3 examined the responses of Groups 4 and 5, and those
participants’ responses to Question 22. The purpose of this question was to specifically
examine socially-desirable response habits, and the observed results did generate some
socially-desirable responses. Of the 78 participants in this response pool, only five read the
privacy policy available before the survey began, but ten of the 75 participants in this
response pool who answered question 22 indicated they always read privacy policies (the full
breakdown of responses is in Chapter 4). The most telling statistic, though, is that a total of
36 participants (46%) in this group indicated that they either always read privacy policies or


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