One of the greatest challenges in survey research are declining response rates. Around the globe, it appears to become harder and harder to convince people to participate in surveys. As to why response rates are declining, researchers are unsure. A general worsening of the ‘survey climate’, due to increased time pressures on people in general, and direct marketing are usually blamed.
This year’s Nonresponse workshop was held in London last week.
In late august of 2011 I attended the Internet Survey Methodology Workshop. There were people from academia, official statistics and market research agencies there. One of the issues discussed there has had me thinking since: the topic of panel conditioning. Some people seem really worried that respondents in panel surveys start behaving or thinking differently because of repeated participation in a survey.
Panel conditioning is closely linked with the issue of ‘professional’ respondents.
Gerry Nicolaas (of Natcen) has just written a good review on the nonresponse workshop we both attended this year. See http://natcenblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/challenges-to-current-practice-of.html#comment-form The Nonresponse Workshops are a great place to meet and discuss with survey researchers in a small setting. The next workshop is to be held early september 2012 at Statistics Canada. See www.nonresponse.org