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Response Patterns in Computer-Administered Surveys
Unformatted Document Text:  Computer Administered Surveys 21 only read them when they are unfamiliar with the website. This is interesting, because only 6.4% of participants actually read the privacy policy attached to this study. Thus, while there was no blatantly obvious trend of socially-desirable responding, some was present, thereby indicating that further research in this area may be fruitful. Admittedly, social desirability is only one possible explanation for the trends in responses to this question, but based upon previous research cited earlier in the study, it appears to be a reasonably valid one. Limitations One limitation is the survey itself; a better-crafted survey instrument may provide data for parametric statistical analyses. The instrument used in this study used primarily nominal and ordinal data. An additional limitation of the study is the operationalization used in Hypothesis 2. With the prevalence of free e-mail addresses and the perception that e-mail accounts are simply targeted-advertising magnets unworthy of being kept private, perhaps the use of an e- mail address to operationalize personal information might not have been the best course of action. Future research might use actual personal information, such as a zip code, age, social security number, or telephone number. The difficulty with this study was maintaining the balance between actual “personal” personal information and personal information people are willing to provide. Final Analysis and Directions for Future Research This study was designed to measure users’ socially-desirable response patterns as they relate to personal privacy on the Internet. The three hypotheses were supported by the statistical analysis of the data, offering valuable insights into socially-desirable response patterns on the Internet.

Authors: Roseman, Joshua. and Mitrook, Michael.
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Computer Administered Surveys
21
only read them when they are unfamiliar with the website. This is interesting, because only
6.4% of participants actually read the privacy policy attached to this study. Thus, while there
was no blatantly obvious trend of socially-desirable responding, some was present, thereby
indicating that further research in this area may be fruitful. Admittedly, social desirability is
only one possible explanation for the trends in responses to this question, but based upon
previous research cited earlier in the study, it appears to be a reasonably valid one.
Limitations
One limitation is the survey itself; a better-crafted survey instrument may provide data
for parametric statistical analyses. The instrument used in this study used primarily nominal
and ordinal data.
An additional limitation of the study is the operationalization used in Hypothesis 2.
With the prevalence of free e-mail addresses and the perception that e-mail accounts are
simply targeted-advertising magnets unworthy of being kept private, perhaps the use of an e-
mail address to operationalize personal information might not have been the best course of
action. Future research might use actual personal information, such as a zip code, age, social
security number, or telephone number. The difficulty with this study was maintaining the
balance between actual “personal” personal information and personal information people are
willing to provide.
Final Analysis and Directions for Future Research
This study was designed to measure users’ socially-desirable response patterns as they
relate to personal privacy on the Internet. The three hypotheses were supported by the
statistical analysis of the data, offering valuable insights into socially-desirable response
patterns on the Internet.


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