TITLE

DOES PRECODING MAIL QUESTIONNAIRES AFFECT RESPONSE RATES?

AUTHOR(S)
Stevens, Robert E.
PUB. DATE
December 1974
SOURCE
Public Opinion Quarterly;Winter74-Winter75, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p621
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In this article the author warns against precoding mail questionnaires. In the author's experience it is not usually advantageous to precode mailed questionnaires. No matter how well we explain to the respondent the purpose of precoding and that he need not pay any attention to it, the fact remains that the appearance of the precoded questionnaire is different: There is more printing on it and less space. It has to look heavier and more difficult than the same questionnaire without the precoding. To test the null hypothesis, an experimental research design was employed. Of the 200 names initially selected, only 8 had to be replaced because the addresses were unknown or incorrect. At the end of four weeks, 116 of the 200 questionnaires had been returned-59 of the uncoded ones and 57 of the precoded ones. This represents a response rate of 59 and 57 per cent, respectively. This 2 per cent difference in response rates was not significant at the .05 level, confirming the null hypothesis.
ACCESSION #
5412983

 

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