International Journal of Internet Science

A peer reviewed open access journal for empirical findings, methodology, and theory of social and behavioral science concerning the Internet and its implications for individuals, social groups, organizations, and society.

Volume 1, Issue 1 (Special Issue, March 2006)

Incentives in Web Studies: Methodological Issues and a Review
Anja S. Göritz
University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Abstract: Two meta-analyses review the effectiveness of incentives in Web studies. The first analysis summarizes 32 experiments on the impact of material incentives on response. It is based on a sample of 212,810 people. A significant effect (odds ratio = 1.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.13-1.25) is revealed, indicating that incentives motivate people to start a Web survey. The second analysis comprises 26 experiments on the impact of incentives on retention and is based on a sample of 7,073 people. It yields a significant effect (odds ratio = 1.27; 95% confidence interval: 1.12-1.44), indicating that once people have accessed a survey for whatever reasons, they are more likely to finish if an incentive is offered. The established incentive effects are stable across various study characteristics. Conclusions did not appear to be due to publication bias.

Keywords: Incentive, meta-analysis, experiment, response, retention

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