New publication: Neuert, Roßmann, Henning: Using Eye-Tracking Methodology to Study Grid Question Designs in Web Surveys

Categories: GESIS-News

Neuert, Cornelia E., Roßmann, Joss and Silber, Henning. (2023). Using Eye-Tracking Methodology to Study Grid Question Designs in Web Surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 39 (1), 79-101.

Neuert, Roßmann, and Silber examined the cognitive information process and response behavior when answering grid versus item-by-item question formats in an eye-tracking experiment. The results show that both question formats appear to have format-specific limitations, directly affecting the response burden.

The authors found that respondents take longer to answer a question in the item-by-item format than in the grid format. While respondents do not spend a different amount of time on the item texts in either format, they need time to adjust to the new question context when the items are presented in an item-by-item format which shows in more extensive processing of the question stem and the response scale labels. In contrast, fixation durations on the area of the response entry fields were significantly longer in the large grid than in the item-by-item presentation in two out of three questions indicating that navigating within a grid is more difficult for long items than when the items are presented item-by-item on separate pages.

The authors also observed the response behavior in more detail while answering the questions. Interestingly, many respondents did not respond to the grid questions sequentially but instead read multiple items before answering the first item. Respondents also changed their answers later after reading other items, suggesting that they reconsidered their answers after answering other items.