Project A9:

Survey mode, survey technology and technology innovations in data collection


Prof. Dr. Markus Frölich / Jun-Prof. Dr. Florian Keusch / Prof. Dr. Frauke Kreuter


Mariya Afonina / Georg-Christoph Haas / Linh Nguyen / Alexa Schoenstedt-Maschke


Prof. Dr. Bettina Siflinger

 Duration:01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021


In social sciences, empirical analysis has relied heavily on survey data that are mostly collected by wellestablished tools such as household surveys, political opinion surveys or social value surveys. Nowadays, technological advancement brings both new opportunities and challenges for data collection. In the past decades, opportunities have been explored for combining or replacing data collection in a number of traditional surveys that use face-to-face interviews with Internet surveys. Internet surveys exploit the connectivity of respondents at home or at the office via their personal computer (desktop or laptop), introducing a high degree of temporal flexibility and thus cost effectiveness into the process of data collection. The fast spread of mobile devices now provides an additional opportunity to optimize data collection along these dimensions, as people now may be able to respond to survey questions without sharing scarce time resources or location restrictions. While the increased flexibility of respondent’s participating in surveys can have positive effects on data quality, in particular on the accuracy of provided information, data collection using mobile devices may also bear the risk of changes in response behavior. For instance, respondents answering surveys outside a home may be distracted by surrounding actions and therefore fail to concentrate on the content of questions or the answering process. To this end, it is important to understand the causes and consequences of introducing mobile devices for data collection. This research proposal focuses on the advancements and challenges of mobile devices for survey data collection, analyzing the use of mobile devices along different dimensions such as data quality, survey costs, the availability of populations and response behavior across several populations (including Europe, USA and developing countries). We combine different strands of social science research, connecting Survey Methodology, Econometrics, Behavioral Economics and Health Economics in longitudinal settings. The project will provide future avenues for general data collection procedures and has implications for improving data quality and providing information and treatments to influence respondent behavior.