Respondent Quality In Online Research. What About It?

We do almost everything online these days, so why not research? I’m often surprised when I find others hesitant to conduct research online, but now and then I run into the occasional person who has reservations about moving research from offline to online.

Their primary concern centers on the quality of participants. How do we know they are who they say they are? How do we know they are giving good responses?

Fair enough. I might be concerned if people didn’t ask these questions. However, the general feeling is that there will be more quality issues with online respondents than offline respondents — but, of course, no one has ever lied about who they are in person, right?

As my previous comment might indicate, my response is that there really is no difference between the quality of online respondents and the quality of offline respondents. You face the same possible issues with respondent quality — and those who may fib about parts of their lives to qualify for a study or those straightlining respondents who participate solely to earn the incentive/be entered into that drawing. However, if you’re really concerned, sample providers such as Lightspeed Research have several metrics in place to ensure the quality of your respondents — as communicated in a recent blog post.

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