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A Meta-Analysis of Breakoff Rates in Mobile Web Surveys

P. 81-98.
Mavletova A. M., Couper M. P.

In this paper, we conduct a meta-analysis of breakoff rates in mobile web surveys. We test if an optimization of web surveys for mobile devices, invitation mode (SMS vs. e-mail), survey length, expected duration in the invitation, survey design (scrolling vs. paging), prerecruitment, number of reminders, design complexity (grids, drop-down questions, sliders, images, progress indicator), incentives, an opportunity to skip survey questions, and an opportunity to select the preferred mode (PC or mobile web) have an effect on breakoffs. The meta-analysis is based on 14 studies (39 independent samples) conducted using online panels – probability-based and non-probability-based. We found that mobile optimized surveys, email invitations, shorter surveys, using a prerecruitment, more reminders, a less complex design, and an opportunity to choose the preferred survey mode decrease breakoff rates in mobile web surveys. No effect of a scrolling design, incentives, indicating expected duration in the invitation, and an opportunity to skip survey questions were found.