States or Traits? Factors Influencing the Willingness to Participate in Telephone Surveys

Anna Schnauber, Gregor Daschmann


To examine the factors influencing the willingness of target persons to participate in telephone surveys, 301 participants and 326 non-respondents of a market research telephone survey were interviewed on this subject. These interviews show that two factors are predominantly decisive for the willingness to participate in telephone surveys: the personal attitude towards surveys and the moment of interview. The significance of the moment for the decision on participation speaks for a random dropout process – if a potential interviewee is contacted at another time, he will probably make a different decision. By contrast, the attitude towards surveys is a stable influencing factor. However, there are only a few and weak correlations with primary personal characteristics and socio-demographic criteria; this speaks for there being certain persons who, in principle, are averse to surveys, but they do not differ essentially from the participants of a survey. Therefore it can be assumed that non-respondence does not automatically lead to systematic distortions of survey results.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Anna Schnauber, Gregor Daschmann

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