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ERIC Number: EJ983865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 7
Survey Nonresponse Bias in Social Science Research
Reio, Thomas G., Jr.
New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development, v21 n1-2 p48-51 Win-Spr 2007
Surveys continue to be one of the primary research methods in social science research, as they have been useful for exploring subjects ranging from attitudes and intentions to motivations and behaviors, to name but a few. Notwithstanding, response rates in survey research continue to decline despite the development of more systematic procedures to optimize study participation like Dillman's Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2007). Web-based surveys have drawn researcher attention, too, because they seem to be a relatively fast and inexpensive means to conduct research, yet often they are plagued by even lower response rates than conducted via traditional surveys. By understanding how survey respondents compare with nonrespondents on key demographic and research variables, researchers can generalize their findings more accurately and confidently. In this article, the author discusses survey nonresponse bias in social science research. He points out that nonresponse in survey research does not necessarily mean that there is nonresponse bias. Survey nonresponse is typically classified into four discrete categories: (1) inaccessibility; (2) inability; (3) carelessness; and (4) noncompliance.
Descriptors: Social Sciences, Social Science Research, Research Methodology, Response Rates (Questionnaires), Participation, Research Problems, Predictor Variables, Demography, Participant Characteristics, Bias, Social Desirability
Florida International University College of Education. 11200 SW 8th Street, ZEB 361A, Miami, FL 33199. Tel: 305-348-6151; Fax: 305-348-1515; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://education.fiu.edu/newhorizons
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A