Vera Toepoel

Vera Toepoel
Utrecht University | UU · Department of Methodology and Statistics

About

75
Publications
78,920
Reads
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1,538
Citations
Introduction
Vera Toepoel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Methodology & Statistics. She teaches courses in survey methodology and her research focuses on survey methodology as well. In addition, workshops on survey methodology (e.g. web surveys, panel surveys) can be arranged. Have you read my book "Doing Surveys Online"? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Doing-Surveys-Online-Vera-Toepoel/dp/1446249670/
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2009 - September 2012
Tilburg University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (75)
Preprint
Full-text available
Face-to-face interviews are still the standard in conducting cross-national surveys. Although web surveys have many advantages, so far they have rarely been used in cross-national surveys. The main problem of using web in cross-national surveys are coverage error of people without internet access and problems with the availability of sampling frame...
Article
Research on mixed devices in web surveys is in its infancy. Using a randomized experiment, we investigated device effects (desktop PC, tablet and mobile phone) for six response formats and four different numbers of scale points. N = 5,077 members of an online access panel participated in the experiment. An exact test of measurement invariance and C...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates how an auto-forward design, where respondents navigate through a web survey automatically, affects response times and navigation behavior in a long mixed-device web survey. We embedded an experiment in a health survey administered to the general population in The Netherlands to test the auto-forward design against a manual-f...
Article
Full-text available
Smartphone sensors allow measurement of phenomena that are difficult or impossible to capture via self-report (e.g., geographical movement, physical activity). Sensors can reduce respondent burden by eliminating survey questions and improve measurement accuracy by replacing/augmenting self-reports. However, if respondents who are not willing to col...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigate prevalence of smartwatches; activity trackers (e.g., Fitbits); and apps to track personal activity on smartphones in the Dutch general population. In addition, we ask for respondents' willingness to participate in a follow-up accelerometer study and wear a professional loaned activity tracker for a week. About half of...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the effectiveness of a research messenger layout to a traditional online layout with regards to probing. Responses to different types of probes (explanation, elaboration and category selection probes) were examined in terms of length and quality, measured by number of characters, number of themes, and an indicator for response...
Article
Full-text available
The growing smartphone penetration and the integration of smartphones into people’s everyday practices offer researchers opportunities to augment survey measurement with smartphone-sensor measurement or to replace self-reports. Potential benefits include lower measurement error, a widening of research questions, collection of in situ data, and a lo...
Article
Full-text available
Online surveys are increasingly completed on smartphones. There are several ways to structure online surveys so as to create an optimal experience for any screen size. For example, communicating through applications (apps) such as WhatsApp and Snapchat closely resembles natural turn-by-turn conversations between individuals. Web surveys currently m...
Article
Full-text available
The relation between answer behaviour and measurement error has been studied extensively. Answer behaviour may be considered undesirable, like answering ‘don’t know’ or ‘won’t tell’. It is not clear to what degree undesirable answer behaviour from the same respondents is present across different surveys. In this study, we investigated to what exten...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we discuss the implications of using mobile devices for online survey completion. With more and more people accessing online surveys on mobile devices, online surveys need to be redesigned in order to be able to meet the characteristics of mobile device usage, such as small screens and short messaging. We discuss mobile friendly desig...
Article
Full-text available
Smartphones enable passive collection of sensor data alongside survey participation. Location data add context to people’s reports about their time use. In addition, linking global positioning system data to self-reported time use surveys (TUSs) can be valuable for understanding how people spend their time. This article investigates whether and how...
Preprint
This deliverable is designed to evaluate the current technical state of the GGP infrastructure and possible amendments and developments that can help increase its performance as part of its infrastructural development. It outlines a technical evaluation that will be used to adapt the fieldwork and implementation guidelines and enable the initiation...
Article
Full-text available
Nonserious, inattentive, or careless respondents pose a threat to the validity of self-report research. The current study uses data from the Growth from Knowledge Online Panel in which respondents are representative of the Dutch population in education, gender, and age over 15 years (N = 5,077). By doing regression analyses, we investigated whether...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of the processes underlying question answering in surveys suggest that the choice of (layout for) response categories can have a significant effect on respondent answers. In recent years, the use of pictures, such as emojis or stars, is often used in online communication. It is unclear if pictorial answer categories can replace traditional...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigate whether mobile device use in surveys can be predicted. We aim to identify possible motives for device use and build a model by drawing on theory from technology acceptance research and survey research. We then test this model with a Structural Equation Modeling approach using data of seven waves of the GESIS panel. We...
Article
Full-text available
A sizable minority of all web surveys are nowadays completed on smartphones. People who choose a smartphone for Internet-related tasks are different from people who mainly use a PC or tablet. Smartphone use is particularly high among the young and urban. We have to make web surveys attractive for smartphone completion in order not to lose these gro...
Article
Surveys differ in their topics, language, style, and design, and consequently, in their sensitivity to measurement error. Survey literature presents a range of characteristics of survey items that are assumed to be related to the magnitude and frequency of measurement error. In terms of questionnaire design and testing, it would be very useful to h...
Article
Full-text available
With the rise of mobile surveys comes the need for shorter questionnaires. We investigate the modularization of an existing questionnaire in the LISS Panel in the Netherlands. We randomly divided respondents into a normal length survey condition, a condition where the same survey was split into 3 parts, and a condition where the survey was split in...
Article
Full-text available
In an experiment dealing with the use of personal computer, tablet, or mobile, scale points (up to 5, 7, or 11) and response formats (bars or buttons) are varied to examine differences in mean scores and nonresponse. The total number of “not applicable” answers does not vary significantly. Personal computer has the lowest item nonresponse, followed...
Preprint
The increasing use of smartphones opens up opportunities for novel ways of survey data collection, but also poses new challenges. Collecting more and different types of data means that studies can become increasingly intrusive. We risk over-asking participants, leading to nonresponse. This study documents nonresponse and nonresponse bias in a smart...
Article
Full-text available
Item characteristics can have a significant effect on survey data quality and may be associated with measurement error. Literature on data quality and measurement error is often inconclusive. This could be because item characteristics used for detecting measurement error are not coded unambiguously. In our study, we use a systematic coding procedur...
Chapter
Full-text available
Online surveys are one of the most prominent data collection methods in Europe and the USA. Not only are they fast and cheap, data quality in well-designed online surveys is high, especially when sensitive questions are asked. Disadvantages are the threat of undercoverage, as not everyone has Internet access, and high nonresponse. In order to overc...
Article
Full-text available
Weighting techniques in web surveys based on no probability schemes are devised to correct biases due to self-selection, undercoverage, and nonresponse. In an interactive panel, 38 survey experts addressed weighting techniques and auxiliary variables in web surveys. Most of them corrected all biases jointly and applied calibration and propensity sc...
Article
Full-text available
Web surveys are no longer completed on just a desktop or laptop computer. Respondents increasingly use mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones to complete web surveys. In this article, we study how respondents in the American Life Panel complete surveys using varying devices. We show that about 30 percent of respondents sometimes complete s...
Chapter
Full-text available
A sample is a subset of a population and we survey the units from the sample with the aim to learn about the entire population. However, the sampling theory was basically developed for probability sampling, where all units in the population have known and positive probabilities of inclusion. This definition implicitly involves randomization, which...
Article
Full-text available
Survey research is changing in a more rapid pace than ever before, and the continuous and exponential growth in technological developments is not likely to slow down. Online surveys are now being completed on a range of different devices: PC, laptops, tablets, mobile phones or hybrids between these devices. Each device varies in screen sizes, modes...
Article
Full-text available
Experiences are becoming increasingly important in events and festivals, which are prime manifestations of the experience economy. However, research on event experiences has generally been concerned with economic impacts and visitor motivations [Gursoy, D., Kim, K., & Uysal, M. (2004). Perceived impacts of festivals and special events by organizers...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how individuals use online coping strategies after experiencing a negative life event. Many studies have shown that online coping is of rising importance. However, these studies have not provided all pieces of the puzzle because they tend to focus on one particular online venue (e.g., an online support group or social network...
Article
Straightlining, an indicator of satisficing, refers to giving the same answer in a series of questions arranged on a grid. We investigated whether straightlining changes with respondents’ panel experience in the LISS panel in the Netherlands. Specifically, we considered straightlining on 10 grid questions in LISS core modules (7 waves) and on a gri...
Article
Full-text available
Respondents in an Internet panel survey can often choose which device they use to complete questionnaires: a traditional PC, laptop, tablet computer, or a smartphone. Because all these devices have different screen sizes and modes of data entry, measurement errors may differ between devices. Using data from the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Study for...
Conference Paper
Mobile devices have smaller displays, touch screens and different methods of navigation compared to desktop computers. This may limit the amount of information that can be placed on a mobile phone screen and it can also affect how a survey is comprehended and completed. The most traditional rating scales in Web surveys are made from radio buttons...
Conference Paper
With the rise of the Internet more and more data are collected via volunteer panels. These panels are not based on probability mechanisms and hence inferences are difficult to make. Post-survey adjustments techniques such as propensity score weighting are often used to improve data quality. However, which methods work best and which variables need...
Article
Full-text available
The LISS panel (Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences) is an online panel which is based on a true probability sample of households. Households that cannot otherwise participate are provided with a computer and Internet connection. The most important encouragement for long-term participation in the LISS panel is the €15, - per hour...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports from a pilot study that was conducted in a probability-based online panel in the Netherlands. Two parallel surveys were conducted: one in the traditional questionnaire layout of the panel and the other optimized for mobile completion with new software that uses a responsive design (optimizes the layout for the device chosen). T...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate whether survey answers of trained respondents differ systematically from answers of novice respondents. Focusing on difficult attitudinal or preference questions, we find that novice respondents answer "don't know" significantly more often. Importantly, however, there is no systematic evidence for a conditioning effect on measured pr...
Article
This study investigates the relation between leisure activities and the social status of the elderly based on a heterogeneous sample of the Dutch population. Close relationships are also analyzed to identify which people could serve as successful stimulators of leisure participation. The social profile confirms that older people have fewer social c...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between subjective experience of an event, motivational style for participating and satisfaction afterwards. It proposes that subjective experience of positive affect acts as a mediator between motivation and satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper opted for a quantita...
Article
An experiment was carried out to determine the optimal recruitment strategy for a new online household panel. The factors to be optimized were contact mode, incentive amount, timing of the incentive, content of the advance letter, and timing of the panel participation request. The experimental design took into account the "naturally" varying factor...
Chapter
An important development in the social sciences over the past decades has been the increased use of Web surveys and Web panel surveys in particular. A panel survey is a survey in which similar measurements are made on the same individuals at different points in time. While survey collection was left to professionals only a couple of years ago, with...
Chapter
Nonresponse is an important indicator of TSE, and incentives are widely used to increase response rates. This chapter discusses the theories behind incentive effects, discusses the possible forms of incentives and related effects, estimates the optimal amount of incentives, handles different modes of data collection, the relation between incentives...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the contribution that cultural activities make to social integration and satisfaction with life for older adults, using a nationally representative Dutch sample. Older people participate less frequently in social gatherings and have fewer close contacts than the adult population in general. They also experience increased feeling...
Article
Pictures used to supplement survey questions can systematically influence the answers obtained. Respondents react to the content of the image, giving higher-frequency reports when pictures of high-frequency events are shown and lower-frequency reports when pictures of low-frequency events are shown. The effects of pictures on responses are similar...
Article
Over the past decades there has been an increasing use of panel surveys at the household or individual level. Panel data have important advantages compared to independent cross sections, but also two potential drawbacks: attrition bias and panel conditioning effects. Attrition bias arises if dropping out of the panel is correlated with a variable o...
Article
This research examines the development of a hospitality monitor in the Netherlands to map consumer attitudes and assist hospitality organizations in designing effective market strategies to attract, satisfy, and retain consumers. A factor analytic approach revealed that there were different consumer segments based on identified attitudes in the hos...
Article
Full-text available
The consideration of future consequences (CFC) scale is designed to measure whether individuals consider the future implications of their current actions. The CFC Scale was administered in 11 waves to a heterogeneous panel, designed to be representative of the Dutch population aged 16 and over. To empirically validate the CFC Scale in a non-academi...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes the effects of an experimental manipulation of the number of items per screen in a Web survey with forty questions aimed at measuring arousal. The authors consider effects on survey answers, item nonresponse, interview length, and the respondents' evaluation of several aspects of the survey (such as layout). Four different for...
Article
Full-text available
Panel conditioning arises if respondents are influenced by participation in previous surveys, such that their answers differ from the answers of individuals who are interviewed for the first time. Having two panels - a trained one and a completely fresh one - created a unique opportunity for analyzing panel conditioning effects. To determine which...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we investigate whether there are differences in the effect of instrument design between trained and fresh respondents. In three experiments, we varied the number of items on a screen, the choice of response categories, and the layout of a five-point rating scale. In general, effects of design carry over between trained and fresh resp...
Article
Respondents follow simple heuristics in interpreting the visual features of questions. The authors carried out two experiments in two panels to investigate how the effect of visual heuristics affects the answers to survey questions. In the first experiment, the authors varied the distance between scale points in a 5-point scale to investigate wheth...
Article
In this paper, we investigate whether there are differences in the effect of instrument design between trained and fresh respondents. In three experiments, we varied the number of items on a screen, the choice of response categories, and the layout of a five-point rating scale. In general, effects of design carry over between trained and fresh resp...
Article
In two experiments we demonstrate that men display an enhanced interest in status enhancing consumption upon exposure to mating cues. Men indicate a higher interest in high-status products (study 1) and more readily noticed high-status products (study 2) after exposure to sexily, rather than plainly, dressed women. The effects are restricted to sin...
Article
Full-text available
Panel conditioning arises if respondents are influenced by participation in previous surveys, such that their answers differ significantly from the answers of individuals who are interviewed for the first time. Having two panels—a trained one and a completely fresh one—created a unique opportunity for analysing panel conditioning effects. To de...
Article
By 1989 the Michigan Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID) had experienced approximately 50 percent sample loss from cumulative attrition from its initial 1968 membership. We study the effect of this attrition on the unconditional distributions of several socioeconomic variables and on the estimates of several sets of regression coefficients. We pr...
Article
This article shows that respondents gain meaning from verbal cues (words) as well as nonverbal cues (layout; numbers) in a web survey. We manipulated the layout of a five-point rating scale in two experiments. In the first experiment, we compared answers for different presentations of the responses: in one column with separate rows for each answer...
Article
Full-text available
This article shows that respondents gain meaning from verbal cues (words) as well as nonverbal cues (layout; numbers) in a web survey. We manipulated the layout of a five-point rating scale in two experiments. In the first experiment, we compared answers for different presentations of the responses: in one column with separate rows for each answer...
Article
In this article, an information-processing perspective is used to explore the impact of response categories on the answers respondents provide in Web surveys. Response categories have a significant effect on response formulation in questions that are difficult to process, whereas in easier questions ( where responses are based on direct recall) the...
Article
In two experiments we demonstrate that men display an enhanced interest in status enhancing consumption upon exposure to mating cues. Men indicate a higher interest in high-status products (study 1) and more readily noticed high-status products (study 2) after exposure to sexily, rather than plainly, dressed women. The effects are restricted to sin...