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Does the choice of header images influence responses? Findings from a web survey on students' housing situation

[journal article]

Barth, Alice

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Abstract Online questionnaires can easily be complemented by logos, graphics and images. Yet visual cues can influence responses – adding images to survey questions has proven to alter reported frequencies and attitudinal judgments. Our experiment, which was embedded in a web survey on students’ housing conditions (N=4,676), addresses the effects of continuous exposure to a content-related image. Participants saw one of three different residential scenarios or no image, respectively, in the header of each page throughout the whole survey. It is expected that different pictures influence self-rated satisfaction with the current housing situation and the evaluation of city attributes. Contrary to the hypotheses, the choice of image has no effect on answers to attitudinal questions. Possible implications of image positioning and repetition are discussed in the light of this surprising finding.
Keywords response behavior; online survey; picture; visual perception; graphic arts; electronic data processing; housing conditions; survey research
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages 9 p.
Journal Survey Methods: Insights from the Field (2014)
ISSN 2296-4754
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works