Investigator Characteristics and Respondent Behavior in Online Surveys.

TitleInvestigator Characteristics and Respondent Behavior in Online Surveys.
Publication TypeManuscript
AuthorsWhite, A, Strezhnev, A, Lucas, C, Kruszewska, D, Huff, C

Prior research has demonstrated how the results of surveys can vary depending on the race, gender, or ethnicity of the investigator asking the question. This paper extends the logic of that research to empirically test how information about researcher identity in online surveys, conveyed in the advertisement for the experiment and on the informed consent page, affects subject responses. We do so by conducting an experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in which we vary the name of the researcher to cue different racial and gender identities. We fail to reject the null hypothesis that there is no difference in how respondents answer questions when assigned to a putatively black/white or male/female researcher.