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The Science of Web Surveys$
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Roger Tourangeau, Frederick G. Conrad, and Mick P. Couper

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199747047

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199747047.001.0001

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Summary and Conclusions

Summary and Conclusions

(p.151) 8 Summary and Conclusions
The Science of Web Surveys

Roger Tourangeau

Frederick G. Conrad

Mick P. Couper

Oxford University Press

In addition to reviewing the main findings and themes of the book, the final chapter grapples with a central issue in the design of mixed-mode surveys. Should researchers try to minimize differences across modes by avoiding mode-dependent features or should they try to take advantage of the strengths of each mode? These two approaches are sometimes called the unimodeand the best practicesapproaches, respectively. The chapter presents a mathematical model for mode effects. The model implies that when the purpose of the survey is to produce point estimates, particularly of factual phenomena, the best practices approach is generally most appropriate; however, when the point of the survey is to make comparisons across groups, especially for subjective phenomena, the unimode approach is generally the most appropriate. Finally, the chapter presents a list of recommendations for practice derived from the empirical findings discussed in the book.

Keywords:   best practices approach, group comparisons, mixed mode surveys, mode effects, point estimates, unimode approach

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