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Response Patterns in Computer-Administered Surveys
Unformatted Document Text:  Computer Administered Surveys 2 This study examines the idea of online intrusion as being something computer users do not take into consideration when providing personal information. This is done through the examination of socially-desirable response patterns and the potential for disparity between observed and self-reported behavior. Internet Research: Where has it been? Where is it going? Buchanan and Smith (1999) discuss threats to the validity of Internet research, reviewing a Smith and Leigh (1997) study comparing the results of online and paper-and- pencil surveys designed to measure the nature and frequency of sexual fantasies experienced by the respondents. Buchanan and Smith note that the results largely concurred, but that Smith and Leigh used two different demographic groups (the Internet sample consisted of psychologists; the paper-and-pencil sample used introductory psychology students). Buchanan and Smith (1999) also address several threats to reliability and validity of Internet-based testing. This work brings up many points regarding Internet surveys. The nature of the sample, with Internet participants likely to be more variegated. The likelihood of Internet research participants being more motivated. The lack of control over the conditions under which the surveys are completed. The appearance of the survey on the screen and the time it takes to complete the survey. And finally, the danger of multiple completions and mischievous responses. Of course many of these issues can be addressed through technological means. Buchanan and Smith (1999) further state Internet researchers must “[take] pains to validate stringently the instruments and research paradigms [Internet researchers] use.” Chou’s (1997) research reinforces this claim, opining that the most important Internet

Authors: Roseman, Joshua. and Mitrook, Michael.
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Computer Administered Surveys
2
This study examines the idea of online intrusion as being something computer users do
not take into consideration when providing personal information. This is done through the
examination of socially-desirable response patterns and the potential for disparity between
observed and self-reported behavior.
Internet Research: Where has it been? Where is it going?
Buchanan and Smith (1999) discuss threats to the validity of Internet research,
reviewing a Smith and Leigh (1997) study comparing the results of online and paper-and-
pencil surveys designed to measure the nature and frequency of sexual fantasies experienced
by the respondents. Buchanan and Smith note that the results largely concurred, but that
Smith and Leigh used two different demographic groups (the Internet sample consisted of
psychologists; the paper-and-pencil sample used introductory psychology students).
Buchanan and Smith (1999) also address several threats to reliability and validity of
Internet-based testing. This work brings up many points regarding Internet surveys. The
nature of the sample, with Internet participants likely to be more variegated. The likelihood of
Internet research participants being more motivated. The lack of control over the conditions
under which the surveys are completed. The appearance of the survey on the screen and the
time it takes to complete the survey. And finally, the danger of multiple completions and
mischievous responses. Of course many of these issues can be addressed through
technological means.
Buchanan and Smith (1999) further state Internet researchers must “[take] pains to
validate stringently the instruments and research paradigms [Internet researchers] use.”
Chou’s (1997) research reinforces this claim, opining that the most important Internet


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