How to Avoid Screener Fatigue
It’s well-known among marketing researchers that respondents prefer shorter surveys. Studies on questionnaire length and fatigue effects concluded that surveys and screeners should be less than 20 minutes to ensure data integrity. But why?
After 20 minutes, fatigue sets in: the respondent starts satisficing, where their attention span decreases and the speed with which they answer questions increases.
As a researcher, how can you design a screener that answers critical questions without disengaging your respondents? In addition to streamlining your screeners, here are 3 ways to get high quality data in a limited number of questions.
Ask Opened-Ended Questions Early
Research shows that the number of characters a respondent types in an open-ended text box decreases as those questions are moved back in the screener. The more information the respondent is asked for, the less likely they are to give insightful answers. To garner rich responses to open-ended questions, design your screener so that easier, multi-choice questions are at the end.
Place “Skippable” Questions in the Beginning
In one famous SSI study, researchers placed a sliding-scale question, where the gauge was placed in the middle, at different points throughout a screener. The later this question was placed in a survey, the more likely the respondent was to leave the slider at its starting position. To avoid having respondents leave questions unanswered, make sure that each question is blank to start, giving the respondent a clean slate for their answer.
Deliberately Phrase Questions
The way information is presented to respondents greatly changes the way they respond to that information. Instead of asking, “Did you watch TV this week?” ask, “When was the last time you watched TV?” Not only does this tactic collect more specific answers, it also ensures that respondent’s aren’t intentionally answering questions in such a way that lets them skip question blocks.
The bottom line is that when respondents get tired, they do as little work as possible to finish the task at hand. Remember: there is far less satisficing and cheating in short surveys.
Have an expert at Focus Pointe Global evaluate your screener for potential fatigue effects by clicking the button below and scheduling a consultation.
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