ISR Awards

Response Burden: What Predits It and What is its Impact on Response Quality

Survey researchers and practitioners are constantly concerned about the burden that surveys place on respondents. In his seminal article on response burden in 1978, Bradburn noted both the undeveloped conceptualization of response burden and the lack of empirical research on response burden in the literature. Four decades later, it is time to revisit this issue and to examine what developments have been made with regards to both conceptualization and empirical research.

This proposal takes advantage of survey questions built into the research section of the Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey (CE). These survey questions attempt to measure response burden and research has been conducted on how to combine these survey questions to measure the burdensome feeling (Fricker, Gonzalez, and Tan, 2011; Fricker, Kreisler, and Tan, 2012). Building upon these research activities, this proposal conducts secondary data analyses to further our understanding and knowledge on response burden.

The proposal is comprised of two analytic tasks. Analytic Task 1 focuses on identifying respondent characteristics differentiating response burden whereas Analytic Task 2 systematically investigates the impact of response burden on data quality. The proposed Task 1 contributes to the conceptualization and measurement of response burden and Task 2 adds to the literature on how measured burden can and should be used in practice to investigate the impact of response burden on data quality.