ERIC Number: ED394996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Factors Influencing Mail Survey Response Rates: What Do We Really Know?
Boser, Judith A.; Clark, Sheldon B.
Most studies of mail survey methodology focus on specific design elements, but several major reviews of research have attempted to synthesize the findings of independent empirical studies. This study examined the review articles for what they have to say about factors influencing response rates and for their methodology. A literature review identified nine articles for the study, containing 329 source studies. None of the reviews appeared in education or psychology journals, and none were located through a search of the ERIC database. There was considerable variation among the articles about response rate facilitation, and there was considerable variation in the methodological quality of the studies reported. Findings were inconclusive regarding sponsorship, questionnaire length, personalization, anonymity, and appeals as they related to response rates. Saliency, school or army populations, and colored paper appeared to facilitate response rates while marketing background of the author was an inhibitor. Overall, the study called attention to the disparity with which procedures used in the integrated review articles were documented. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, 26 references, and 9 citations of review articles.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Biloxi, MS, November 8-10, 1995).