Multimode, Global Scale Usage: Understanding respondent scale usage across borders and devices

Melanie Courtright, Kartik Pashupati, Annie Pettit and Roddy Knowles
Research Now

Introduction and scope

As a result of the widespread availability of online and mobile technologies, online data collection has become the dominant paradigm in many developed markets. Indeed, it is rapidly replacing other forms of survey research even in emerging markets. More recently, the introduction and rapid adoption of smartphones has made market researchers focus their attention on the potential and limitations of this form of data collection (Dubreuil and Joubert 2012). Smartphones have made it faster and easier than ever to field standardized surveys across multiple nations.

Many researchers investigating the issue of data comparability have used the concept of response style as the framework for their study. Response style is defined as a person's tendency to systematically respond to questionnaire items regardless of the content. The two most commonly studied response styles are Extreme Response Style or ERS (the tendency to answer toward the extreme points of a scale) and Midpoint Response Style or MRS (the tendency to answer toward the middle points of a scale). Scholars have also examined Acquiescence Response Style (ARS), which is a subset of extreme response style (Baumgartner and Steenkamp 2001; Greenleaf 1992a; Harzing 2006; Paulhus 1991; Pettit 2002; Tellis and Chandrasekaran 2010; Van Vaerenbergh and Thomas 2013).