General Online Research 2011

March 14-16, 2011, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf


Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Date: Monday, 14/Mar/2011
10:30am - 1:00pmWS7: Building Online Panels in the Social Media Age
Session Chair: Christian Loeb

Building Online Panels in the Social Media Age

Christian Loeb

Harris Interactive, Germany


Building Online Panels in the Social Media Age


2.5 hours

Regular workshop fee

60 €

Who should participate?

Everybody using online samples or working with online panel generated data.

Content area




Topics that will be covered

  • Strategies for building online panels
  • Recruitment methods using conventional online channels (Display advertising, affiliate programs, email, Google adwords)
  • Recruitment methods within the social media space
  • Building panels using social media
  • Implications of the different recruitment methods
  • Discussion


  • Understand how panels are build today
  • Develop your own position on reasonable panel recruitment
  • Improve your individual online panel strategy no matter if you build a panel, buy sample or just work with data generated using online panels

Necessary prior knowledge of participants

Basic online research knowledge.

Literature that participants need to read prior to participation


Recommended additional literature


About the instructor

Christian Loeb has more than twelve years experience in setting up and managing international online panels and the required infrastructure. He works as a board member responsible for Panel and IT at Harris Interactive AG.

Maximum number of participants


1:00pm - 2:30pmBreak
2:30pm - 5:00pmWS3: Online Experiments
Session Chair: Dr. Ulf-Dietrich Reips

Online Experiments

Ulf-Dietrich Reips1,2

1University of Deusto, Spain; 2IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain


Online Experiments


2.5 hours

Regular workshop fee

80 Euros

Who should participate?

Researchers and employees of companies who would like to conduct online experiments. The workshop is useful for both newcomers and experienced experimenters. It will contain information about the newest developments.

Content area



English. Individual coaching during practice parts will also be available in German.

Topics that will be covered

This workshop will provide you with an up-to-date overview of basic, techniques, methods, tricks, and tools for online experimentation. Using a practical example, you will learn how to conduct online experiments that provide results within hours. For this purpose, the workshop includes a hands-on demonstration of interactive systems for designing Web experiments online, e.g. WEXTOR. You will learn about ways of dealing with issues in experimental design, security, recruitment, sampling, self-selection, multiple submissions, question design, dropout, error estimation, distributed experimentation, data handling, data quality, log file analysis, and new options available in HTML5. Among other "tricks", you will know the warm-up technique, sub-sampling procedures, multiple site entry, ways to check for motivational confounding and when and why the high hurdle technique may work or not.You will learn how to make use of Web services like the free "::web experiment list::", and of analysis tools for subsequent data analysis, such as Scientific LogAnalyzer.


Learn or review basic knowledge about Internet-based experimenting; learn a number of useful techniques and tricks; learn to avoid pitfalls that may make your experiment useless; create an experiment during the workshop; get to know several tools and how to use them.

Necessary prior knowledge of participants


Literature that participants need to read prior to participation

Reips, U.-D. (2002). Standards for Internet-based experimenting.Experimental Psychology, 49, 243-256. [PDF, 124kb: http://personalwebpages.deusto.es/reips/pubs/papers/ExPsyReipsReprint.pdf]

Recommended additional literature

  • Joinson, A. N., McKenna, K., Postmes, T., & Reips, U.-D. (Eds.)(2007). The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology. Oxford University Press. Reips, U.-D. (2002). Internet-based psychological experimenting: Five dos and five don'ts. Social Science Computer Review, 20 (3), 241-249.
  • Reips, U.-D. (2007). The methodology of Internet-based experiments. In A. Joinson, K. McKenna, T. Postmes, & U.-D. Reips (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology (pp. 373-390). Oxford University Press. Reips, U.-D., & Bosnjak, M. (Eds.)(2001). Dimensions of Internet Science. Lengerich: Pabst. (http://iscience.deusto.es/archive/reips/dis/).

Tools to try out:

  • iScience Server: http://iscience.eu
  • web experiment list: http://wexlist.net
  • WEXTOR: http://wextor.eu
  • Scientific LogAnalyzer: http://sclog.eu

About the instructor

Prof. Dr. Ulf-Dietrich Reips (http://iscience.deusto.es/) is an IKERBASQUE research professor at University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. He is working on Internet-based research methodologies, in particular Internet-based experimenting, the psychology of the Internet, and cognitive science. In 1994 he founded the Web Experimental Psychology Lab, the first laboratory for conducting real experiments on the World Wide Web, and provides many Web services for researchers via his iScience Server at http://iscience.eu He is one of the founders and long-time board member of DGOF and was the main local organizer of GOR'05. He was elected the first non-US American president-elect of the Society for Computers in Psychology and is founding editor of the International Journal of Internet Science (http://ijis.net, with Uwe Matzat). He has given similar workshops in several European countries as well as in the US (e.g. for the National Science Foundation) and is frequently requested as a consultant. Many of his publications (in English, German, and Spanish, see http://personalwebpages.deusto.es/reips/pubs/publications.html) are widely cited in the field.

Maximum number of participants


2:30pm - 5:00pmWS4: Social Media Intelligence: Listening - Engagement - Optimization!
Session Chair: Peter Gentsch

Social Media Intelligence: Listening - Engagement - Optimization!

Peter Gentsch

BIG - Business Intelligence Group, Germany


Social Media Intelligence: Listening - Engagement - Optimization!


2.5 hours

Regular workshop fee

60 €

Who should participate?

Market research, marketing, CRM, Subject Matter Experts Social Media, market and competitive intelligence

Content area




Topics that will be covered

  • Discussion of use and business cases in social media intelligence
  • Outline of statistical Social Media Analysis – What is important to measure.
  • Social Media Intelligence – How businesses are using it for their processes (social media governance).
  • Search Media Optimization – what is it and how to use it.
  • What are the most important next steps for social media intelligence


  • Educate concerning what it takes to build a social media measurement framework.
  • Learning how to take data into insight and insights into actions
  • Get everyone speaking the same language with regard to social metrics

Necessary prior knowledge of participants

Basic social media skills/ basic analytical skills

Literature that participants need to read prior to participation

Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment (New Rules of Social Media), Jim Sterne

Recommended additional literature


About the instructor

Prof. Dr. Gentsch is founder of the Business Intelligence Group GmbH and TextTech GmbH. As a consultant and coach for several important service and industry enterprises he was in charge of several projects involving CRM, Business Intelligence and E-Business. Furthermore, Prof. Dr. Gentsch holds the chair of the Albert Berner Foundation for CRM at the University of Aalen. He is author of numerous national and international research publications and a demanded keynote-speaker for a broad variety of events. Currently, his projects focus on topics such as Social CRM, Social Media Marketing and Customer Experience. In 2010, he was granted the Market Research Innovation-Award of for a joint project together with Lufthansa.

Maximum number of participants

not limited

2:30pm - 5:00pmWS5: Instrumente und Konzepte der Kundenzufriedenheits- und Loyalitätsmessung [Concepts of Customer Satisfaction and Loyality measurement ]
Session Chair: Ines Schöll

Instrumente und Konzepte der Kundenzufriedenheits- und Loyalitätsmessung [Concepts of Customer Satisfaction and Loyality measurement ]

Ines Schöll

Tomorrow Focus AG, Germany


Instrumente und Konzepte der Kundenzufriedenheits- und Loyalitätsmessung [Concepts of Customer Satisfaction and Loyality measurement]


2,5 Stunden

Regular workshop fee

60 Euros

Who should participate?

Alle die Interesse an Kundenzufriedenheits-/ Loyalitätsmessung haben und verschiedene Instrumente und Messtheorien kritisch betrachten und kennenlernen möchten.

Content area

Nur deutschsprachige Teilnehmer.



Topics that will be covered

Messung von Kundenzufriedenheit und Loyalität. Entwicklung und Einführung dauerhafter Messinstrumente zum Tracking der Loyalitätsentwicklung der User von B 2 C Portalen.


Überblick über verschiedene Theorien und Instrumente der Zufriedenheits- und Loyalitätsmessung. Praxisbeispiele.

Necessary prior knowledge of participants

Keine Vorkenntnisse

Literature that participants need to read prior to participation


Recommended additional literature


About the instructor

Ines Schöll, Dipl. Kffr. (FH), Research Analyst/ Tomorrow Focus AG/ Projektleitung - Customer Loyality der B2C Portale.

Maximum number of participants


5:30pm - 8:00pmWS6: Qualitative Research Online – Tools, Applications, Moderation
Session Chair: Ilka Kuhagen

Qualitative Research Online – Tools, Applications, Moderation

Ilka Kuhagen

IKM Ilka Kuhagen Marketingforschung, Germany


Qualitative Research Online – Tools, Applications, Moderation


2.5 hours

Regular workshop fee

60 Euros

Who should participate?

Anybody interested in qualitative research ONLINE

Content area




Topics that will be covered

This workshop will give an overview on available research methodologies for qualitative research in an online environment: such as Online Realtime Chats, Hybrid Online Research, Online Diaries, Online Ethnography, Bulletin Boards and online communities als MROCs.


Based on real case studies Ilka Kuhagen will demonstrate various applications but also limitations for qualitative research online. While the simply text based discussion forums from yesterday have nowadays been replaced by platforms that offer to use all sorts of non-verbal communication and projective techniques, not only the choice of methodology but also motivation and interaction of participants is of utmost importance in order to achieve valuable results. Many tips from real experience will be passed on to become successful in setting up an online qualitative project.

Necessary prior knowledge of participants

None – basic interest in qualitative research

Literature that participants need to read prior to participation


Recommended additional literature


About the instructor

Ilka Kuhagen is a qualitative research consultant who has used online methodologies since over 10 years successfully for multinational clients. For more information please visit http://www.ikmarketing.de/DE/HomeDE/homeDE.htm

Maximum number of participants


Please bring along devices to access the Internet – this will allow you to participate in a test forum.

6:00pmDGOF: Meeting of DGOF Members
8:00pm - 11:30pmEarly-Bird-Meeting
Date: Tuesday, 15/Mar/2011
9:00am - 9:30amOpening
9:30am - 10:15amKeynote 1: Joe Walther, Michigan State University: Social Media, Relationship Theories, and Civil Society
10:15am - 10:30amBreak
10:30amTrack 1: Online Research Methodology and Internet Surveys
10:30amTrack 2: Applied Online Market Research
10:30amTrack 3: Social Media Research and Civil Society
10:30am - 11:30amA1: Respondents' Answer Behavior
Session Chair: Martin Kornmeier

Respondent Characteristics as Explanations for Uninformative Survey Response: Sources of Nondifferentiation in a Web-Panel

Lex Van Meurs1, Thomas Klausch2, Klaus Schönbach3

1Intomart GfK, Netherlands, The; 2University of Utrecht; 3University of Vienna

Relevance & Research Question: Self-administered online surveys put respondents into an essentially anonymous and uncontrolled response situation. This raises worries on potentially biased or uninformative answers, such as nondifferentiation – always using the same score on all items offered – which may harm the measurement accuracy of population statistics. Our presentation explores the question which respondents are inclined to give such answers.

Methods & Data: For our study, longitudinal observations from a large commercial online survey panel in The Netherlands were available: the Appreciation Panel (fieldwork by Intomart GfK on behalf of NPO, the Dutch Public Broadcasting Organisation. Nondifferentiation behavior was identified in every single survey of the panel for a time frame of six months in 2009 (totaling to 502,750 completed online questionnaires). In this way a history of panel (nondifferentiation) behavior was created for each of over 7,700 active panel members. Subsequently a cross-sectional online survey was designed to survey possible determinants of response behavior. The survey was conducted post-hoc with a stratified probability sample of 1,200 respondents.

Results: Analyses based on data from a large-scale online panel indicate that not only respondents’ perception of effort caused by a survey explains their behavior. Also more abstract social behavioral norms, individual moral obligations and the norm of ‘honest behavior’ are related to nondifferentiation behavior. However, extrinsic motivation to participate in the panel because of a monetary incentive is found unrelated. These results imply that survey researchers have somewhat limited ways to reduce the effects of factors causing uninformative behaviors. Using monetary incentives to encourage panel participation is not harmful to the quality of answers, but it is recommended to limit respondents’ perception of effort.

Added Value: Very few examples have been published about nondifferentiation in applied online market research. The method presented offers an example of applied research what respondents are inclined to give nondifferentiated responses and how nondifferentiation in combination with other indicators such as response time is used to identify low quality responses in online research.

Van Meurs-Respondent Characteristics as Explanations-171.pptx

Effects of survey question clarity on data quality

Timo Lenzner

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Many studies found that the wording of a survey question can influence the answers that respondents provide. In particular, it has been shown that vague and ambiguous terms are often interpreted idiosyncratically by respondents, and thus can introduce a systematic bias into the survey data. In addition to ambiguity, the cognitive effort required to understand survey questions may affect data quality in a similar way. Earlier research identified several problematic text features (such as low-frequency words, left-embedded syntactic structures, low syntactic redundancy) that reduce question clarity and make survey questions difficult to comprehend (e.g. Lenzner, Kaczmirek, & Lenzner, 2010). This paper extends the earlier findings and examines whether the effort required to comprehend survey questions affects data quality.

Methods & Data: An experiment was carried out in which respondents were asked to complete two Web surveys (N1=825, N2=515) at a two-week interval. Approximately half of the respondents answered questionnaires that included unclear and less comprehensible questions, the other half received control questions that were easier to comprehend. Indicators of data quality were drop-out rates, number of non-substantive responses (“Don’t know’s”), number of neutral (midpoint) responses, and over-time consistency of responses across the two surveys. In addition, respondents’ verbal intelligence and motivation were assessed to examine whether question clarity effects were moderated by these two respondent characteristics.

Results: As expected, respondents receiving unclear questions provided lower-quality responses than respondents answering more comprehensible questions. Moreover, some of these effects were more pronounced among respondents with limited verbal skills and among respondents with low motivation to answer surveys.

Added value: These findings indicate that survey results can be systematically biased if questions are difficult to understand and exceed the processing effort that respondents are willing or able to invest. Making it easy for respondents to retrieve the meaning of a survey question seems to be an important requirement for obtaining high-quality answers.

Lenzner-Effects of survey question clarity on data quality-111.pdf

Speeders in Online Value Research: Cross-checking results of fast and slow respondents in two separate samples answering the 40 item "Portrait Value Questionnaire"

Tilo Beckers1, Pascal Siegers2, Anabel Kuntz2

1Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf / University of Düsseldorf, Germany; 2Universität zu Köln / University of Cologne, Germany

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Social scientists are often reluctant to rely on data from online access panels or other web surveys because they fear that the general data quality may be seriously flawed and the results are thus neither valid nor reliable . The third major concern of representative sampling is not always important, e.g. in case of experimental designs or studies that are only used for analyzing relationships as opposed to comparing distributions and mean values. Our research question is, whether speeders in online surveys jeopardize results due to a lack of validity and reliability of results.

(b) Methods & Data:

In a research project on basic human values, fielded in 2010, we have implemented an online questionnaire and gathered data using the ‘Unipark’ online access panel. The 20 minute instrument includes among other measurements the 40 item Schwartz Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ) over five consecutive pages. We use confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) and structural equation models (SEM) to analyze our data.

(c) Results:

When analyzing the data we hardly faced any item non-response but have discovered many comparatively fast respondents using different speed thresholds. In order to cross-check our results we compared the results of CFA and SEM from two separate surveys (each: n > 750) using independent samples and we compare models from respondents at different speeds. We found a high degree of homogeneity between the two different samples and the models of slow respondents and speeders while controlling for straightliners on our Likert scale.

(d) Added Value:

The results indicate that value research may profit from online access panels both to pretest complex instruments and to validate results, e.g. by applying structural equation models. Although the quality of representative samples is not yet given for most online panels, the tentative results of our fundamental research indicates that speeders do not necessarily jeopardize the quality of the data and thus the validity and the reliability of results. This is an important insight for those social scientists usually relying on cost-intensive traditional PAPI and CATI data collection.

Beckers-Speeders in Online Value Research-172.pdf
10:30am - 11:30amB1: E-Commerce I
Session Chair: Sabine Menzel

The impact of different trust facets on online buying behavior

Beate Müller, Marcel Paulssen, Julia Anna Knoll

FactWorks GmbH, Germany

(a) Relevance & Research Question: With relocating the marketplace to the Internet, market actors and the purchasing process become more intangible for customers. This perceived loss of control can only be counterbalanced by trust. Thus, the trustworthiness of online retailers is a key determinant of online purchase behavior. The present study investigates the customers’ trust perception of a leading online retailer. Four different trust facets are distinguished (competence, communication, benevolence and conflict handling) and their impact on customer purchase behavior investigated.

(b) Methods & Data: Analyzing the Experience-Trust-Activity-Chain enables us to identify the key experiences driving trust perception. By measuring trust with our tool “House of Trust” that incorporates the four different trust facets it is not only possible to analyze overall trust, which is measured by a trust index, but also its different dimensions. Data were collected via an online survey among customers of a leading online retailer (n = 3099) and benchmarked with the customers’ trust perceptions of competitors.

(c) Results: Trust perceptions are strong predictors of future purchase behavior in online shops as well as of online shop choice. Moreover the maximum amount consumers are willing to spend in an online shop is determined by their overall level of trust in the shop. Low levels of trust promote customer churn to more trustworthy competitors, even if prices are higher. The competitive benchmark comparison reveals that the analyzed online retailer performed rather well on the trust facets “competence” and “communication” but significantly lags behind in respect to “benevolence” and “conflict handling”. The customers’ perceptions of the four trust facets were linked to specific experiences.

(d) Added Value: The present paper provides a broad conceptualization of different trust facets for online marketplaces. Benchmark comparisons across different competitors show the strength and weaknesses of each online retailer in terms of trust. Understanding the drivers of trust allows companies to define actions for trust improvement. Trust is a highly relevant concept, since it impacts customer churn/switching as well as the maximum willingness to pay online.

The Role of Authenticity in Online Reputation Management

Sonja Utz, Yaa Fremponmaa, Peter Kerkhof, Camiel Beukeboom

VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, The

Relevance & Research Question: Companies have started to respond to negative consumer reviews. However, the question how companies should react on negative reviews is still understudied. Research can borrow from literature on service recovery or trust reparation. Research in these domains has usually compared the effectiveness of various strategies such as apology or denial. However, authenticity might play an important role, as for example research on the effects of authentic (Duchenne smiles) vs. unauthentic smiles showed. Therefore, the present research examined the effects of variations within an accommodative reaction. It was expected that adding a picture should have a positive effect on evaluation of the product and the company as well as on buying intention. An attractive picture should be even more effective because consumers can apply the “what is beautiful is good”- heuristic. It was also expected that a reaction in a personal style is more effective than a reaction in corporate voice.

Methods & Data: An online experiment (n = 125) with a 3 (picture: none vs. attractive vs. unattractive) x 2 (style: personal vs. corporate)-design was conducted. Participants were instructed to imagine that they were looking for a mobile phone. They then read a negative review and the reaction of the company. Evaluation of the product, purchase intention, and evaluation of the company were the dependent variables (measured on 7-point scales). Various facets of authenticity were assessed (human voice, communicated commitment, underlying motivation (e.g. company only wants to earn money), honesty).

Results: Purchase intention and evaluation of the company were higher in case of a personal reaction than in case of a reaction in corporate voice. Adding a picture had no effect. The effects were mediated by human voice and for evaluation of the company also by communicated commitment.

Added Value: The study clarifies the role of authenticity in online reputation management. The results show that words are more important than a picture. A personal reaction had more positive consequences than a corporate reaction. Authenticity plays an important role, but it are mainly the human and relational aspects that are important.

Utz-The Role of Authenticity in Online Reputation Management-115.pdf

New ways of smart community management – brand loyalty and retention in social web data

Thorsten Teichert1, Daniel Wagenfuehrer1, Peter Gentsch2, Anna-Maria Zahn2

1University of Hamburg, Germany; 2Business Intelligence Group GmbH

Relevance & Research Question: We are using a social web panels to investigate the relevant marketing questions regarding consumer word-of mouth, product loyalty and brand retention. Our approach offers new ways in community-management and influencer-marketing. We develop key performance indicators in community management and monitoring to achieve valuable data regarding consumer loyalty parameters.

Methods & Data: Several data sources are combined: We focus on a broad panel of social web data to investigate general customer interactions and sentiments in social web. We utilize user-related data of a well known German automobile forum (i.e. nick name, current automobile, previous automobiles) to get insights into customers loyalty and brand retention. Data are combined with users´ comments in the forum. Multivariate analyses, sentiment analyses and social network analyses are performed to understand costumer behavior and word-of-mouth influence in the forum interaction.

Results: We present a holistic methodological approach to understand costumer loyalty and brand retention trough analyzing individual posts, referring comments and their interdependencies on the aggregated level. Based on established methods of community monitoring we develop methods and key performance indicators for the management of user interaction in the marketing context. User profiles, social-influencer-scores and sentiment analysis constitute an integrated toolkit to monitor social media communities and forums to understand consumer behavior.

Added Value: Toolkits for monitoring social media activities traditionally focus on single characteristics of an online community, as e.g. the share of-buzz or influencer-analysis and influencer-marketing. We integrate all these methods to understand customer behavior in the social community and its impact toward brand loyalty.

Teichert-New ways of smart community management – brand loyalty and retention-133.pdf
10:30am - 11:30amC1: Relationships and Online Etiquette
Session Chair: Heiner Barz

Self-disclosure Online: How social network sites socialize their users towards more openness by offering social rewards

Sabine Trepte, Leonard Reinecke

Hamburg Media School, Germany

Relevance & Research Question

There virtually is no Social Web without self-disclosure in virtual public spaces. The existence of the “Social Web” depends on the willingness of its users to contribute content and to grand insights into their private lives through network profiles, private photos or video clips. The constant availability of intimate information online has caused considerable public debate and raises concerns about the potential effects of the Social Web on its users’ ideas of self-disclosure. It is often speculated that feelings of anonymity fostered by the Web 2.0 environment cause a loss of social distance and alter users’ psychological disposition to self-disclose. Therefore the following research questions arise: Does social network size use socialize its users towards more openness (socialization hypothesis)? Or do particular people, who are fond of disclosing private information online, actively select social network sites to live out their psychological tendency to self-disclose (selection hypothesis)? What are the rewards that reinforce social network site use and self-disclosure online (moderation hypothesis)?

Methods & Data

In a two-wave longitudinal study (N= 488) participants were surveyed within a 6month interval. Data were analyzed using structure equation modeling.


The data significantly supports the hypotheses. If users go online in social network sites frequently, they increasingly tend to self-disclose online. The social network site socializes its users toward more openness. Additionally, users with the disposition to self-disclosure, use the social web more frequently over time. Both causalities are enforced by social rewards. Social rewards such as getting in touch with others and making friends online increase self-disclosure.

Added Value

This study offers two new perspectives: First, the study presents causal effects in terms of how network use influences the psychological disposition for self-disclosure. There have been cross-sectional and correlational results in that area and these may now be generalized to a long-term perspective. Second, the study shows, how social rewards interact with self-disclosure and network site use. It demonstrates that social rewards accelerate psychological effects social network site use may have.

Who’s Gossip in Chief – Archaic gratifications of high tech users

Astrid Carolus, Frank Schwab, Michael Brill

Universität Würzburg, Germany

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Social media respectively web2.0 has changed our media scene. To understand what is social about social media the medium itself but also the user has to be focused.

Ethnographic research names two third of face-to-face-conversation “gossip” because social issues are discussed (Dunbar, 1997). Examining that quantity of resources invested proximate but also ultimate explanations postulate advantages of gossip (Dunbar, 2004). This gives rise to two questions: Are web2.0-applications and especially social networking sites (SNS) that popular because they satisfy human needs by copying central functions of gossip? What are the needs the users want to supply by investing in SNS?

(b) Methods & Data:

In a first study (n=240) a questionnaire referring to a classification by De Backer (2006) was developed which measures gossip aspects within SNSs. A second study investigates gratifications. Using qualitative (n=200) and quantitative (n=252) methods another questionnaire is developed which reveals the users’ gratifications. Finally a third study registers patterns of web2.0-usage, gossip-topics and gratifications of SNS-users along individual motives (assessed by the "Motive Profile following the Zurich Model", Schönbrodt et al., 2009) and personality (factors from an evolutionary psychological approach relevant in the context of mating (Schmitt & Buss, 2000) complement the Big Five).

(c) Results:

Study 1 reveals eight gossip-scales (cooperation, mating, intrasexual conflicts, kinship, calibration, health, alliances, social norms) with good internal consistencies (alpha > 0,82). Within evaluating construct validity expected correlations with a parallel test („Attitudes toward gossip“, Litman & Pezzo, 2005) were confirmed. Study 2 establishes ten gratification-scales grouped on four dimensions (self-, information-, relationship-management, cognitive-affective tool). Study 3 displays and discusses inter-relations between gossip-topics, gratifications, personality and motives.

(d) Added Value:

The success of social networking sites is considered as a result of their closeness to the functions of gossip and their fit to individual needs. Understanding SNS as a high tech form of gossip is derived from evolutionary considerations. By doing so a new way of understanding SNS and its gratifications is developed aiming at the emotional and archaic aspects of media use which have been neglected by standard cognitive approaches.

Carolus-Who’s Gossip in Chief – Archaic gratifications-189.pptx

Relationship Management on Social Networking Sites: A Explorative Analysis of Students’ Close Friendship Relationships.

Alexander Bohn, Nicola Döring

Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany

Relevance & Research Question

The growing body of psychological and sociological research on Social Networking Sites (SNS) - such as Facebook or studiVZ - so far focuses mainly on identity issues (self-presentation, impression formation, identity work) and relationship effects (social capital). A neglected research topic is the management of personal relationships on SNS, especially the maintenance of close friendships via SNS-based interactions: How do users use SNS in order to maintain and manage their close friendships as well as their social networks in general?


An explorative online survey with n=121 undergraduate students at a German university (79 female, 42 male) was conducted. The students were asked about interaction processes that take place within their closest friendship. Especially the students were surveyed about their usage of studiVZ and various other communication channels (mobile-, online-, face-to-face-, postal-communication) for interactions with there close friends.


The study revealed that students use several communication channels to interact with their close friends. Among these online-communication and mobile-communication are most relevant. In the frame of online-communication SNS are the most used service followed up by Instant Messengers. The students use selected functions and applications provided by SNS, such as messages, pin/bulletin boards, profile visits or photo uploads almost daily to foster their close friendships in diverse ways. Mobile Communication (SMS, calls) as well as face-to-face-meetings are also relevant for the maintenance of student’s close friendships.

Added Value

The study is one of the first that analyzes interactions within close friendships on SNS as a part of the relationship management of SNS users. It revealed that students actively use online-communication channels, such as SNS, to maintain close friendships as well as their relationships in general. Further the study showed that (close) personal relationships become an increasingly important aspect of internet usage and therefore should be considered in future viral marketing campaigns, for example.

11:30am - 12:00pmBreak
12:00pm - 1:00pmA2: Who participates in online panels?
Session Chair: Otto Hellwig

Determinants of access-panel participation: Recent experiences from the recruitment of members for a mixed-mode access panel using random telephone samples

Uwe Engel, Simone Bartsch, Helen Vehre

University of Bremen, Germany

The data quality of access panels can be threatened by self-selection processes into the panel and mode/response effects. Self-selection is likely to lead to biased sample estimates, while mode effects and mode-specific response effects preclude any generalisation of outcomes produced by one survey mode to another. To study both types of effects, we built up a large access panel for the adult population of Germany using probability sampling for the recruitment of people by phone (landline and cell phones). Possible access panel modes are landline, cell phone and Internet. The project is part of the Priority Programme 1292 on ‘Survey Methodology’ (see www.survey-methodology.de)

The present paper is focused on an analysis of panel participation. In a first step, the propensity to response to the initial survey request (participation in the recruitment interview) is modelled using an extensive set of paradata and mixed-effects logistic regression analysis, controlling for interviewer effects. Then latent variable modelling is used to estimate determinants of follow-up cooperation using an extensive set of paradata, metadata, and survey items as well as the response propensity modelled at step 1. There are two major dependent variables: a) the readiness to participate in the access panel as expressed by the respondent in the concluding part of the recruitment interview. b) Subsequent panel participation when the target persons were re-contacted some weeks later for realizing the actual panel-initializing interviews. As in step 1, here again multilevel analyses were carried out to control for interviewer effects in attempts to realize these panel-initializing interviews. The model of panel participation differentiates between participation in the online and telephone track of the panel.

Asking sensitive questions in a recruitment interview for an online panel: the income question

Ines Schaurer, Bella Struminskaya, Lars Kaczmirek, Wolfgang Bandilla

Gesis, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: It is a well-known fact that sensitive questions such as the income question show an increased item nonresponse compared to other survey questions. Less is known about how such questions affect the decision process of respondents to join a panel for follow-up surveys. Hence, the study examines in a split experiment whether there are differences concerning the recruitment success for a panel when the income question is asked or omitted during the recruitment interview. Furthermore, it investigates if those respondents, who reject to answer the sensitive question, tend to reject the panel request more often. The main question is: Are respondents affected by the sensitive question itself or is there a general lower trustworthiness among some respondents which influences both unit nonresponse in sensitive questions and the rejection of panel participation?

Methods & Data: The interview for panel recruitment is conducted via telephone with a probability sample. In a randomized split experiment half of the respondents are asked about their net household income in the recruitment interview and the other half are not asked any income information. At the end of the interview all respondents are asked whether they would be willing to join an online panel and answer questions about life in Germany via online questionnaires on a monthly basis. For this, respondents have to provide an e-mail address in the end of the telephone interview. The dependent variable is the willingness to participate in the online panel.

Results: Our previous research shows that 47% of those who answer the income question are willing to participate in an online-follow-up survey. In contrast, this figure plunges to only 22% for those who decline to provide income information (total n=818). Data collection for the current study starts in December 2010.

Added Value: The anticipated results will give insights in the (offline) recruitment process for an online panel which is based on a probability sample. The knowledge about how sensitive questions can affect later decisions of participation is crucial for designing a recruitment process, especially when sensitive questions are an important predictor in estimations of nonresponse bias.

Schaurer-Asking sensitive questions in a recruitment interview-167.pdf

The influence of personality traits and motives for joining on participation behavior in online panels

Florian Keusch

WU Wien, Austria

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Due to the dropping penetration rate of landline telephones and a general decline in the willingness to participate in telephone surveys, data collection using online methods – especially online access panels – are becoming more popular all over the world. Though widely adopted among marketing researchers critics still fear that the new sampling methodology leads to biased results produced by a breed of survey-savvy volunteer respondents who are solely interested in monetary incentives and therefore cannot be compared to the general population. This study seeks to give in-depth insight into the personality of online panelists by analyzing their motives for joining the pool as well as their personality traits (Big Five, materialism).

(b) Methods & Data:

In a survey among 1,729 members of an Austrian online access panel participants were asked to answer standardized scales measuring materialism (Richins 1987) and the Big Five personality traits (Rammstedt & John 2005). In addition they had to name the reasons for joining the online panel. The data was then analyzed for its influence on participation behavior in the pool during the last 13 month.

(c) Results:

The results show that money is a relevant motive but not the dominating reason for becoming an online panel member. It is also found that psychographic characteristics have rather little influence on participation behavior within the panel.

(d) Added Value:

The use of personality traits to predict participation behavior in surveys in general and online panels in particular is virtually unknown in the literature. This study is the first that examines the influence of those factors in an online panel environment.

Keusch-The influence of personality traits and motives-154.pdf
12:00pm - 1:00pmB2: E- and Mobile Commerce II
Session Chair: Sören Scholz

From multilingual focus group interviews to a multilingual online survey: Understanding cross-cultural differences in social network sites usage

Ulrike Rohn

University of Tartu, Estonia

Social network sites (SNS) have become a mass phenomenon across Europe. However, there has been little cross-cultural research in terms of SNS choice and usage. The study presented aimed at filling this gap by examining SNS choice and usage across three different cultural groups with a special focus on the practice of forwarding or recommending media content via SNS profiles.

This study combines qualitative and quantitative research methods. In a first step, focus group interviews with SNS users in Germany and Estonia were conducted. In Estonia, this included both a group with Estonians as well as with the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia. Through these interviews, possible behaviors, experiences and opinions in terms of SNS choice and usage were identified. Based on these interviews, a large-scale, multilingual online survey with SNS users in Germany and Estonia was conductd. The samples were representative for the internet population in these countries in terms of age, gender, language, and place of living.

Both the focus group interviews and the online surveys made obvious cross-cultural differences in terms of SNS choice and usage. However, in all three cultural groups, the tendency to switch from a local or domestic SNS, such as StudiVZ or rate, to a more international one, mainly Facebook, was detected. This tendency, however, was far less obvious among the Russian Estonians than among the other two groups. Whereas the choice of SNS was seen to decreasingly reflect a demand for cultural proximity, the personal networks within the SNS were seen to reflect a great demand for cultural proximity. Such a demand was expressed through a low degree of interconnectivity across cultural groups through such SNS and through the fact that media content, which users recommended to each other through such SNS, by and large was local and domestic.

The study makes obvious cross-cultural differences in SNS choice and usage, and it highlights the role of network externalities as determinants of SNS choices that make large, international SNS very attractive to users, despite the expressed need for cultural proximity.

Mobile Commerce Insights – figures and success factors for the new mobile market

Julie Woletz, Daniel Schmeißer

phaydon | research+consulting, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Mobile Commerce belongs to the most important topics in mobile business. The annual “Mobile Commerce Insights” presents up-to-date figures, success factors, and trends for the mobile market. This year’s study analyzed current Smartphone usage with emphasis on the relevance of mobile websites vs. Smartphone Apps for mobile commerce processes. Mobile Commerce customers were invited to a mobile research, to investigate occasions & scenarios for mobile commerce along with typically purchased products and to measure satisfaction with available services.

Methods & Data:

The research was conducted in three steps: The international market screening (desk research) in step 1 identified relevant topics and trends for mobile business. In step 2, an online panel survey among 927 German Smartphone users was conducted to gain insights on general Smartphone usage, to quantify access to the mobile internet via browsers and Apps, and to explore to what intend the mobile internet is used. In step 3, a panel survey among 550 German iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry users was conducted as mobile research directly on user’s Smartphones. The 550 participants were selected according to the 3 most important global players with the biggest App Stores. All 550 regularly access the mobile internet via browser and Apps and are mobile commerce users.


Besides a general increase in mobile internet usage, the market screening identified the growing importance of App Stores, but a surprising lack of solid data concerning the actual usage of Apps. Figures of the survey clearly show the increasing value of mobile internet and Apps: 65% of the asked Smartphone users access the mobile internet daily via browser, followed by 63% daily App users. While users preferred mobile websites for an overview of products and prices, they used apps to purchase products. In general, all-in-one-services tailored for mobile use are still underrepresented.

Added Value:

This research is the only one that quantifies access to the mobile internet via browsers and Apps. Furthermore, the study gives feasible recommendations, how to align mobile commerce business to user’s needs and habits, identifies best practices and deducts personas of typical mobile commerce users.

Woletz-Mobile Commerce Insights – figures and success factors-195.pdf

Mobile Research Apps – Adding New Capabilities to Market Research

Daniel Rieber

Interrogare GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question

Smartphones are one of the main drivers for the increasing usage of the mobile Internet. Particularly the launch of mobile apps has opened new possibilities for the users and thus has been a major part of the mobile success story the last years. For market researchers and panel providers mobile devices and especially apps provide new means to access respondents. Moreover, mobile surveys and panels add new capabilities to market research which have to be defined and evaluated.

Methods & Data

Using the example of the Interrogare app for mobile panels, the paper focuses on identifying new opportunities of mobile apps for market research. The different case studies are presented and empirically compared to online and mobile studies. The Interrogare app enables market researchers to survey their panelists in the right moment at the point-of-interest. This is realized by using functions like push-notification and geolocation.


Mobile apps add new capabilities to market research. One of the biggest advantages is the application for location- and time-sensitive studies. Mobile research apps facilitates fast-response surveys. Moreover, mobile panels are particularly helpful to reach specific target groups, such as early-adopter or business people.

Added Value

The presented case studies outline first possible applications of mobile apps in market research and discusses the new capabilities for market researchers. In addition to this best-practices for mobile surveys are shown.

Rieber-Mobile Research Apps – Adding New Capabilities-141.pdf
12:00pm - 1:00pmC2: Social Media in Marketing and Communications
Session Chair: Maren Heltsche

The impact of facebook communication on brand perception

Thilo Trump, Busse Matthias

result gmbh, Germany

Social Media is a challenge for brand communication. Word-of-mouth-communication on twitter, blogs etc. is becoming a more and more vital part of a brand’s media image. We would like to address the following question: “How does this kind of web communication affect brand perception?”.

As a subject we chose two different beer brands and their facebook accounts. One of them uses a more networking style approach on its facebook account with features of co-creation. The other one uses its account in a more traditional media style with mostly one-to-many announcements.

All participants are regular facebook users. They are split into two groups per brand: a) main brand users and

b) potential.

In order to measure the accounts’ impact on brand image and KPIs we ask a sample of facebook users (n=360) to join one of the companies facebook account by clicking “I like”, thus getting the brand’s facebook communication on their personal “wall”.

In a pre-post design we measure the brand’s image before and four weeks after starting following them on facebook. To gain further qualitative insights concerning perception and attitude we select n=40 participants to talk part in a “result blog diskurs” , a blog-style online discussion. (To avoid effects “blog diskurs” participants will be excluded from the post measurement.)

Social Media as a Chance for Credible Communication in Times of Crisis: a Comparison between Lufthansa and airBaltic during the Ash Cloud Crisis in 2010

Anne Linke1, Baiba Abelniece2

1University of Leipzig, Germany; 2University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Relevance & Research Question: The Internet has become an integral part of the way people and organizations communicate (Hallahan, 2010). An even more vibrant field has emerged with the digital evolution to social media - internet-based applications built on the web 2.0 to create and exchange user generated content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). They allow personal publishing of potentially influential commentary (Trammell & Keshelashvili, 2005) and connection with others. Previously isolated commentary turns into a force with potential impact on public opinion (Lariscy et al., 2009). This becomes especially important for organizations in times of crisis. Therefore, the aim of this study is to look at how enterprises use social media to communicate credibly and restore their image in a crisis.

Methods & Data: This is comparatively analyzed for the aircraft enterprises Lufthansa (Germany) and airBaltic (Latvia) during the ash cloud crisis 2010. Qualitative content analysis of both companies´ presences in social media allow insight into when and how actively airlines engaged, what kind of image restoration strategies (Benoit, 1995) they showed and what they did to demonstrate credibility.

Results: Even though the crisis arrived simultaneously in both countries and showed similar characteristics, enterprises reacted differently. Lufthansa showed fast communication and a proactive strategy of image restoration. They have been using social media for years and own corresponding resources. Regarding the ash cloud crises, they can be considered a benchmark - strategically applying dialogic communication on many platforms and consequently receiving positive feedback. By contrast, complaints dominated in the profiles of airBaltic. Most problems were caused by questions, the company did not answer. Here, a learning process was visible, developing from a silence strategy to actively but still only spontaneously communicating. At the end, they adapted quite well to the special rules of the social web.

Added Value: Research shows new general implications for theory and practice. The value of social media in crisis communication seems to depend on the organizations’ experience and strategic integration in the general corporate communications. Social media, when applied correctly, can then help to demonstrate credibility with the help of proactive strategies of image restoration.

Linke-Social Media as a Chance for Credible Communication-122.pdf

Characteristics of Popular Brand Facebook Pages

Laura E. Buffardi

Universidad de Deusto, Spain

Relevance & Research Question: Retailers are rapidly establishing a presence on social networking web sites. For example, most major retailers now have a Facebook page for users to browse, “like,” or become a fan of. Though retailers are investing time and money into these new social marketing strategies, little research has been conducted on their composition and effectiveness. In the present research, we ask (1) what features of brand Facebook pages correlate with number of fans and (2) what features predict positive consumer outcomes?

Methods & Data: Approximately 125 of the most popular product and restaurant brand Facebook pages (i.e., those with the most fans) were saved. First, a variety of objective features of these pages were collected (e.g., numbers of fans, wallposts, videos). Second, five independent coders rated the extent to which the content and tone of the pages reflected positive subjective qualities (e.g., excitement, interactivity, visual appeal). Third and finally, research participants each viewed five brand pages and reported consumer attitudinal (e.g., Brand Facebook Page Love, based on Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006) and behavioral (e.g. desire to become a fan) outcomes.

Results: First, correlations between the number of fans and objective features of the brand Facebook pages showed that greater numbers of fans related to more media (photos and videos) posted by fans, more iPhone apps offered, providing a mission statement, and higher rates of wall posting. Second, correlations between the number of fans and subjective features showed that pages with more fans were rated higher on interactivity, visual appeal, and offering quality content. The pages with more fans were also viewed as more modern, multicultural, and exciting. Third, correlations between positive consumer attitudes towards brand pages and the page features revealed that positive consumer attitudes were related to the pages appearing interactive, visually appealing, modern, and exciting. However, reports of positive consumer behavioral outcomes did not correlate with many page features.

Added Value: This research provides initial information about what features of Facebook brand pages might be valuable in marketing strategy. It also provides new methodology for future examinations of social media brand pages.

Buffardi-Characteristics of Popular Brand Facebook Pages-179.pdf
1:00pm - 2:15pmLunch Break
2:15pm - 3:15pmA3: Panel Quality
Session Chair: Florian Keusch

Who are leaving our panel: panel attrition and personality traits

Miquelle Marchand

CentERdata, Netherlands, The

Relevance & Research Question

Internet surveys are by far the fastest and cheapest way to gather data, but longitudinal data are also a rich and valuable source of information for researchers and policy makers. Combining the advantages of the Internet and of longitudinal data collection through panels, Internet panels are increasingly used. Much research has been done about the difficulties to reach people for an Internet panel (Feskens et al., 2006, 2007; Schmeets et al., 2003; Stoop, 2005; Vis & Marchand, 2011). However, these studies mainly focused on background variables such as age, social economic status, marital status and origin. This paper investigates the role different personality characteristics play in Internet panels.

Methods & Data

Our research is conducted in the CentERdata LISS panel, which combines a probability sample and traditional recruitment procedure with online interviewing. The panel consists of about 5000 households representative of the Dutch speaking population. A specialty of this panel is that people without Internet access are provided with the necessary equipment so that they are able to participate in the panel.


To investigate whether people with specific personality characteristics are more inclined to end their panel participation we use data from 2008, 2009 and 2010. More specifically, we look at whether people with specific characteristics of the Big V (measured by the 50 item IPIP questionnaire of Goldberg) are more inclined to leave the panel than others. In addition, we analyzed whether people with different personalities on survey attitude (consisting of items on survey enjoyment, survey value and survey burden) are more likely to stop participating. And finally, we look at the Inclusion of Others in the Self scale (Aron & Aron, 1992), which measures interpersonal closeness (and closeness to the panel).

Added Value

A lot of time, energy, and money is spent on building Internet panels. But what happens after that? This paper focuses on which personality traits play a role in panel attrition to optimize panel quality.

Rich Profiles – Or: What's the problem with self-disclosure data?

Florian Tress

ODC Services GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Profile data in online panels consists mainly of self-disclosure data by the panelists. Unfortunately there are some general problems with self-disclosure data, e.g. data quality (Are you willing to provide information with high quality?), the identification of special target groups (Are you a LOHAS / Early Adopter?) or specific response behaviour (Are you always one of the first panelist who react to our invitations?) This contribution deals with the question, which simple metrics could be used to profile externally the panelists and what's the impact of these additional profile data on sampling.

Methods & Data: In a first exploratory study, we collected a variety of data for response behavior, data quality and special target groups. Based on this data we developed a short profiling questionnaire to predict the panelists response behavior. In a second study we evaluated the accuracy of our profiling method, comparing the response behavior of profiled and not-profiled panelists.

Results: In general, the additional profile data can be used to identify panelists better according to the specific requirements in studies, especially the recruitment for qualitative online studies, where the willingness to provide information voluntarily is crucial.

Added Value: Profiling in online panels usually only aims at the information itself and not at the performance when giving the information. With our contribution we'd like to show, that profile data can also be used for sampling, when studies have special requirements on response behavior. By that, it's possible to improve data quality. None of the less, we don't want to discuss only the possibilities of this method, but also its limits in our experience.

Quota Controls: Science or merely Sciencey?

Peter John Cape

Survey Sampling International, United Kingdom

Relevance & Research Question

The market research industry is wedded to quota controls. We apply Age and Gender quotas without a second thought as to why or indeed whether they are doing any good at all. Our argument is that, in the modern online sampling world, a different set of stratifications must be applied and our old assumptions simply do not apply.

Why not? The answer, in common with so many of the problems in sampling in online research, lies in the frame. The frame in traditional research was close to the population; therefore a quota controlled random sample would tend to produce samples that, within the quota strata, also contained representative numbers of all other attitudes and behaviours. This is not the case with online access panels.

Methods and Data

Our experiment uses our US panel; the topic, eye colour, is unrelated to Age and Gender but is strongly related to Ethnicity. We have conducted 2 samples. The first strictly controlled on Age, Gender and Region, the second controlled on Ethnicity alone. Our Age Gender Region ‘nat rep’ sample should underestimate the number with brown eyes. The Ethnicity we expect to estimate eye colour extremely well.

At the same time a third sample will be drawn which is simply “random enough”. Our expectation is that this sample will also under-perform on eye colour but will equal the findings from “nat rep” sample 1.

A second experiment will be undertaken where the variable of interest is unrelated to anything –left- or right-handedness. Our hypothesis is that all three samples will perform equally well.


The results are precisely as predicted.

Added Value

Researchers, particularly in the commercial world, apply quota controls to ensure “representivity” as a matter of practice, they do it because they have been told to, it is part of the folklore of market research. This is not sustainable in a world where we are no longer dealing with essentially incomplete frames. More science and less folklore needs to be applied to make the best of an increasing unscientific world.

Cape-Quota Controls-123.pptx
2:15pm - 3:15pmBP1: Best Practice Award I
Session Chair: Holger Geißler

A1 Telekom Austria usability case studies using Living Lab framework

Emanuel Maxl1, Harald Schwab2, Astrid Tarkus1

1evolaris next level GmbH, Austria; 2A1 Telekom Austria AG/ CCO - Customer Experience & Operations Research

a) Relevance & Research Question:

The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) is a community of Living Labs with a sustainable strategy for enhancing innovation on a systematic basis. Currently more than 250 Living Labs worldwide are active. Living Labs comprise a geographical space from the size of a city up to a region, where partners from economy, public sector, academic field and end users co-operate. Our institution operates a Living Lab in the area of mobile communication.

Aim of our Living Lab is to develop new mobile services, where end-users are integrated in the innovation process from the beginning. The main mission is to optimize the product development life-cycle with user-centric implementation and the use of the creative potential of the users by means of an Open-Innovation paradigm. In addition usability and user experience of existing mobile services and devices are examined in order to develop them further.

The presentation will outline in detail the set-up and results of two usability-studies for A1 Telekom Austria done within the framework of the mobile Living Lab. One study shows the expansion of the Living Lab to the facilities of the stakeholder A1 within the Living Lab, the second summaries the use of the Living Lab customer panel.

(b) Methods & Data:

The first study had been conducted in an A1-Shop with at the location recruited customers. Their task was to evaluate und judge different mobile devices according to usability criteria like built-in camera, keyboard, operating system, touchscreen-functionality and overall design. The second study done within a laboratory considered the acceptance of another mobile device.

(c) Results:

Results of the studies show that the best accepted mobile device delivers an outstanding attractive design, clear arrangement of icons and a good look & feel while holding it in the hand. However, there are still some issues to improve like weight of device and difficult switch-on process.

(d) Added Value:

The presentation will give advice on using a Living Lab for usability studies in the mobile communication area.

Maxl-A1 Telekom Austria usability case studies using Living Lab framework-163.pdf

Best Practice: Ford FanAward - Social Media Engagement

Jan Krömer

infospeed GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question

One of the many questions companies have is how to engage in Social Media. Especially when it comes to groups, in which their customers use critical content and endanger a company's prestige. Admonishments against such communities have proved to have a negative impact on the reputation due to the community's linking-up in the past. This best practice shows how the Ford Motor Company Germany has positively established a Social Media Engagement.

Methods & Data

Before engaging in a Social Media Community, the company has to have a distinct knowledge of its online target group through a Social Media Research. The results have shown that there are more than 300 Ford fan web sites, such as bulletin boards, blogs and classic web sites. Setting and defining specific goals turned out to be the main criteria for success. Three goals were defined: 1) Ford wanted their fans to do a voluntary relaunch of their bulletin boards, and 2) to evoke awareness of Ford engaging in their platforms. 3) Ford wanted to avoid a negative engagement by directing judicial instructions.


Instead of judicial sanctions, Ford Germany decided not to punish their online fans, but to reward them for their work instead. After several workshops, Ford established a continuous project called the Ford FanAward. Since then every creator of a Ford web site can submit his URL to win a price for the best Ford web site every two years. A jury picks up a selection of web sites, while the winners are being voted by the community itself. The results of the Ford FanAward have shown, that many of the communites started positive discussions about Ford's appreciation towards them, and most importantly, that they have changed their designs and adopted the corporate identity of Ford, without any notice sent.

Added Value

Engagement in Social Media calls for distinct knowledge of the online target group, which can be gathered through Social Media Research. Before engagement, every company has to define its specific goals and create an individual idea of Social Media Engagement.

Krömer-Best Practice-202.pdf

Out of sight, out of soul

Andera Gadeib, Frank Vogel

Dialego AG, Germany

Brands today are quite exchangable, brand loyalty by consumers is deteriorating with many successful brands of the past. As a result, consumers make new choices from day to day picking different brands within one category.

Delivering research results to brand owners today means to dive deep into multidimensional relationships between consumers and brands. It is less of explaining singular connections between a consumer and one brand but more of looking at complex market spaces including many brands acting on a market, sending multiple messages.

Gruner + Jahr maintains a strong range of high-quality media and addresses since then the challenging issues of their clients, owners of traditional consumer and premium brands throughout a wide range of categories. Most of them trapped in overcrowded consumer markets. I.e. cosmetics (e.g. Dove), financial services (e.g. Deutsche Bank) or cars (Mercedes Benz). All brands do their best to communicate clearly towards consumers but end up in a swoosh of messages on many channels.

The „G + J Werbewirkungspanel“ (WWP) has a history of more than 7 years, 25 waves, more than 200 brands and keeps innovating their key research issue: to track ad awareness and to bring new brand insights „in sight“ using novel, intuitive techniques. Most recently two techniques have been launched:

1. Diving deeper into consumers voice when it comes to ad awareness. The Dialego SemanticMining approach delivers new insights for more than 50 brands. It has proven in many of G+J’s clients presentations that the Mining approach delivers deeper understanding especially regarding brand perceptions and contexts. It gives invaluable advice when it comes to the view of brand development over several quarters and customized views e.g. regarding lapsed users or cross media impact.

2. Most recently the WWP developed an involving sculpture tool which allows respondents to intuitively map their individual brand spaces. A visual report over all 2,000 interviews (!) includes new, easy-to-understand KPIs (key performance indicators) and not only engages marketeers but particularly delivers new mappings revealing danger zones (loosing clients) and interesting blue oceans with hands-on advice.

2:15pm - 3:15pmC3: Social Media 'gendered' / GOR
Session Chair: Ulf Tranow

On the Role of Gender-Stereotypes in Blog Reception

Sabrina C. Eimler, Nicole C. Krämer

University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Blogs are a popular means to express thoughts or to exchange opinions/advice with the blogosphere. Many studies have investigated the structure of the blogosphere, characteristics of blog authors or the typicality of male/female blogs, while research on the reception of blogs especially with regard to gender stereotypes is still rare. While there is an uncountable number of blogs, the few influential A-list blogs are written by men. This study extends earlier studies on male bias in text evaluation (e.g. Goldberg, 1968) and explores the role of gender stereotypes in blog reception and author evaluation.

Methods & Data:

596 participants (mean age of M = 24.21; SD = 8.01) evaluated in a 3 (writer’s gender: male, female, undisclosed) x2 (blog topic: male, female) x2 (blog style: with and without self-disclosure) between subjects design the author as well as the blog’s quality.


Results indicate that e.g. the traditional male favoring bias in text evaluation does also apply to blog evaluation. Male authors were evaluated more positive with regard to competence (F (1,180) = 4.206, p= .042, ηp²=.023), extraversion (F (1,180) = 8.311, p = .004, ηp² = .044), and masculinity (F (1, 180) = 39.846, p < .001, ηp² = .181). However, women were evaluated to be more dominant (F (1,180) = 25.652, p < .001, ηp² = .125). Male and female authors were evaluated more positively when writing about topics that are traditionally associated with their gender (F(1, 174) = 3.97, p = .048, ηp² = .022). Moreover, if the blog contained a self-disclosing statement, the author was generally regarded as less competent as compared to an author using no self-disclosure: F (1,180) = 3.930, p = .049, ηp² = .021.

Added Value:

The study contributes to the scarcely covered aspect of blog reception in the context of gender stereotypes. Results show that stereotypes influence the perception of blog author’s and their entries. More than 40 years after Goldberg’s study, there still seems to be favoritism for male authors. This might explain the relatively unequal gender distribution regarding influential A-list bloggers in the blogosphere.

Eimler-On the Role of Gender-Stereotypes in Blog Reception-153.pdf

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? - Examining Gender Differences in Usage Motivation and Self-Presentation on Social Networking Sites

Anna-Margarita Papadakis, Jana Kruck, Nina Haferkamp

WWU Münster, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Research on gender differences in Internet communication has already shown that women are more likely to be communicative and community orientated than men who are described as rather task and information oriented in computer-mediated communication (see e.g. Jackson et al., 2001). Similar results were found with regard to social networking site usage (Haferkamp & Krämer, 2010; Manago et al., 2008; Sveningsson, 2007; Thewall, to appear): Females spend more time thinking about their profile pages and place a higher priority on the main profile photograph than males. We thus hypothesized that self-presentation on social networking sites is impacted by gender differences. Furthermore, we also expect that there is a gender-related difference in the reasons why people use social network sites.

Methods & Data: A multi methodological research design was used. Firstly, an online survey with 106 randomly selected users of the German social networking site StudiVZ was conducted assessing users’ motivations to host a profile page as well as users’ attitudes and evaluations towards SNS usage. Secondly, a content analysis of all participants’ profile pages measured the specific SNS usage. It was e.g. coded what kind of private information was published and which photographs were selected for online self-presentation. Finally, results of the survey and the content analysis were interrelated.

Results: Results reveal that women are more concerned about online privacy and are more likely to use SNS for comparing themselves with others. They tend to use group names for their self-presentation and prefer adding portrait photos on their profiles. Men, however, rather look at other profiles to search for friends and choose full body shots for self-display.

Added value: The current study underlines the meaning of gender as an important determinant for analyzing online self-presentation. However, unexpected results also show that known gender stereotypes in Internet communication at least partly have to be reconsidered with regard to SNS usage.

From "Web Questions" to "Propensity Score Weighting": An Evaluation of Topics and Authors of the Conference Series "General Online Research" from 1997 to 2009

Martin Welker1, Monika Taddicken2

1Universität Leipzig, Germany; 2Universität Leipzig

Relevance & Research Question:

Since 1997, the GOR has developed from a workshop in German language to Europe’s most important international conference concerning the field of online research. GOR is an interdisciplinary conference series with researchers from different academic backgrounds. But: Little is known about the improvement and expansion of online research within social science: How have topics changed during time? Are there any specific research trends? Has online research become international and interdisciplinary? With this paper, we want to shed light to these questions.

Methods & Data:

We conducted a quantitative content analysis of all abstracts written for GOR conferences from 1997 to 2009 (N=950). The texts are publicly available via an online archive. 4 coder had to differentiate between the methodological aspects of each paper, research instruments used, the kind of data collection (online vs. offline) and the focus of the research question (quantitative vs. qualitative). Additionally some variables of the first authors (status, organization, nationality, discipline) were categorized. A sample of ca. 7% of all texts were coded twice, reliability was calculated for each variable.


We identified some typical profiles of topics and first authors which describe the research field. Furthermore we display some time frames: In the early years online research was focused on methodological questions, later on several online occurrences like weblogs or Twitter. Besides: GOR has become more and more international. During the last years, about a third of the GOR participants are not from Germany. They come mainly from Western Europe, but as well from Eastern Europe and the US.

Added Value:

The analysis shows the progress and maturity of the interdisciplinary research field “online research” in Central Europe. We identified some aspects which could advice researchers in the future: the transparency of sampling and the exactness of the summarizing abstracts.

3:15pm - 4:00pmExhibition
4:00pm - 5:00pmA4: Visual & Interaction Design
Session Chair: Frederik Funke

Should we use the progress bar in online surveys? A meta-analysis of experiments manipulating progress indicators

Mario Callegaro1, Yongwei Yang2, Ana Villar3

1Google, United States of America; 2Gallup Inc, Unites States of America; 3Stanford University, Unitest States of America

a) Relevance & Research question:

Although the use of progress bar seems to be standard in many online surveys, there is no consensus in the literature regarding its effect on survey drop-off rates. Researchers hope that using a progress bar helps reducing drop-off rates by providing respondents with a sense of survey length and allowing them to monitor their progress through it.

b) Methods & Data:

In this meta-analysis we analyzed 27 randomized experiments that compared drop-off rates of an experimental group who completed an online survey where a progress bar was shown, to drop-off rates of a control group to whom the progress bar was not shown. In all the studies drop-offs were defined as any respondent who did not fully complete the survey. Three types of bars were analyzed: a) linear or constant, b) fast first then slow, and c) slow first then fast.

c) Results:

Random effects analysis was used to compute odds ratios (OR) for each study. Because the dependent variable was drop-off rate, an OR greater than 1 indicates that the progress bar group had a higher drop-off rate while an OR lower than 1 indicates that the progress bar group had a lower drop-off rate. The OR for the 13 studies using a constant progress bar is 1.065 (p=0.304). The OR for the 7 studies using fast-to-slow progress bar is 0.835 (p=0.131), whereas the OR for the 7 studies presenting the slow-to-fast progress bar is 1.564 (p=0.002). These preliminary results suggest that, contrary to widespread expectations, the progress indicator does not help reduce drop-off rates for the constant progress indicator while there is some indication that the fast to slow does. Furthermore, the slow-to-fast bar increases drop-off rates as compared to not showing the progress bar. We do not suggest using the fast to slow progress indicator because ethically questionable and against AAPOR and ESOMAR codes.

d) Added value:

To our knowledge this is the first meta-analysis study on the topic. Additional literature search will be performed and we are awaiting from some authors to send us data to add to the study.

Callegaro-Should we use the progress bar in online surveys A meta-analysis-151.pdf

Slider Scales Causing Serious Problems With Less Educated Respondents

Frederik Funke1, Ulf-Dietrich Reips2, Randal K. Thomas3

12Universidad de Deusto and IKERBASQUE (Basque Science Foundation), Spain; 3ICF International, USA

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Rating scales can considerably affect data quality regarding mean ratings, distribution of answers, response time, or item nonresponse (e.g., Couper, Conrad, & Tourangeau, 2007; Healey, 2007; Heerwegh & Loosveldt, 2002; Krosnick, 1999; Krosnick & Fabrigar, 1997). However, because implementation is easy, designers of Web surveys are tempted to use special rating scales without knowing much about their impact on data quality. This presentation focuses on how slider scales may harm survey data. Nevertheless, sometimes changes in rating scales are inevitable, especially when scrolling on Internet devices with an upright display (e.g., smart phones) should be avoided (for problems see Couper, Tourangeau, Conrad, & Crawford, 2004).

(b) Methods & Data:

In a 2 x 2 Web experiment, type of rating scale (5-point Java-based slider versus 5-point HTML radio button scale) was manipulated as well as the spatial orientation on the screen. On a single Web page, respondents ( N = 779) had to evaluate two product concepts, counterbalanced for order. For analysis, respondents’ reported education was recoded in two groups, below college degree (e.g., B.A. or B.S.) and at least college degree.

(c) Results:

Overall, break-off was significantly higher with slider scales in comparison to radio button scales, chi2(1, N = 779) = 12.81, p < .001, odds ratio = 6.92. Whereas respondents in the group with low education had problems with slider scales, chi2(1, N = 451) = 5.89, p = .018, odds ratio = 5.45, no difference in break-off was observed in the group of respondents with a high formal education, chi2(1, N = 321) = 1.66, p = 1.000. Additionally, task duration was considerably higher with slider scales, F (1, 703) = 638,23, p < .001, eta2 = .48. Furthermore, fewer respondents chose the middle category with slider scales. Spatial orientation of the rating scale had no significant influence on break-off or distribution of values.

(d) Added Value:

The interaction between rating scale and educational level is a serious argument against the use of Java-based slider scales in general. Overall, it seems that horizontal and vertical layout can be substituted mutually.

Drop-out rates during completion of an occupation search tree in web-surveys

Kea Tijdens

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, The

Occupation is a key variable in socio-economic research and predominantly asked using an open response format, followed by field- or office-coding. Web-surveys are disadvantageous because unidentifiable and too aggregate responses can’t be corrected during survey completion. Two solutions can improve respondent’s self-identification, namely online recoding of text or a search tree with an occupational database. The latter is commonly used by online jobsites. Statistical agencies judge the measurement of occupation in web-surveys risky.

The paper uses the 2010q2 data for UK, Belgium and Netherlands (16,680 observations) from the continuous, multi-country WageIndicator web-survey on work and wages, employing a 3-tier search tree with a choice-set of approximately 1,600 occupational titles. This paper investigates:

• What are dropout rates during search tree completion?

• What is completion time for completed and not-completed search trees?

• How often do respondents use the open ended question following the search tree for further detailing their occupation?

• Are dropout rates during search tree completion explained by the length of search paths or individual characteristics?

• Does search tree completion time depends on characteristics related to the survey, the search tree, or individual education?

A new dataset was created, consisting of the survey data, the time stamps and data on the length of the search tree (words and characters). The findings show that drop-out rates for the search tree are approximately 10%, taken into account an overall drop-out rate of 50%. The base model reveals indeed that the more characters red, the higher the likelihood of drop-out, though the effect is larger and significant for the numbers of characters in the 1st compared to the 2nd tier. Drop-out chances in tier1 are lower for employees compared to employment status groups with slightly less pronounced occupations, such as unemployed, students or housewives. No significant relationship is found between the number of characters in tier1 and the time needed to complete tier1, but both the number of characters in tier2 and tier3 and the respective completion times relate positively. The text data was analysed separately, revealing that respondents tend to report a more disaggregated job title.

Tijdens-Drop-out rates during completion of an occupation search tree-138.pdf
4:00pm - 5:00pmBP2: Best Practice Award II
Session Chair: Holger Geißler

Insight Mining & Insight News: Using Web 2.0 Analytic Methods for Data Management Systems and News Providing

Stefan Althoff1, Peter Gentsch2

1Lufthansa Technik AG, Germany; 2TextTech GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: One of the key factors for the analysis of user generated content (UGC) is the usage of full automated textmining routines. Due to the amount of text generated in the Web every day the usage of such techniques is the only chance to handle this valuable information source. But is the usage of such sophisticated methods – including single procedures like tokenization, part-of-speech-tagging, disassembly, term extraction – limited to UGC only?

Methods & Data: Textmining can be used for a data management system based on offline sources as well. Nevertheless it is possible to build up a data pool filled with offline documents and in addition with online data like newsletter, website content and UGC. The big advantage of textmining usage for dynamic data management systems with multiple sources: The storing structure for the documents is no object; and by implementing a graphic interface and displaying (statistical) relations between terms and concepts by a semantic net it is possible to explore the data pool in a knowledge generating matter. Regularly recurring search requests can be implemented in addition, e.g. for a regular news screening.

Results: These are the ideas behind the data management system Insight Mining (roll-out: 2008) and its spin-off Insight News (roll-out: 2011); both tools were jointly developed by TextTech (Leipzig) and Lufthansa Technik. (Hamburg). Both concepts will be presented in this session.

Added Value: Data analyzes and news screening can be done more efficient and more economical compared to other known systems.

Contact : Stefan Althoff can be contacted during the conference via mobile phone ( +49 (0)151 589 162 41 ) for further questions and discussions. Please do not hesitate to contact him

Quick and clever – creating an automated facebook monitoring tool for MAM

Andreas Woppmann1, Karl Ledermüller2

1MAM Babyartikel GmbH, Austria; 2Vienna University of Economics and Business

• Relevance & Research Question: MAM Babyartikel is an international producer of babies products and developed the first pacifier together with designers. As a brand with focus on design and state of the art products, it is important to us that our consumers see MAM as a brand, which is modern and open minded for new communication channels. Doubtlessly social networks play an important role in getting and staying in touch with customers. For this purpose marketing resources are bound in facebook related activities. A continuous qualitative evaluation regarding the efficiency of this marketing channel is quite expensive, especially when creating benchmarks for activities in subsidiaries and competitors. Therefore we developed an R and LaTeX based benchmarking environment for open access to facebook data.

• Methods & Data:

Data were harvested over the facebook API and a set of developed metrics and plots was calculated. Additionally text mining(tm) and common methods in tm (MDS or clustering) helped to give an overview of topics of interest in each of the monitored subsidiary and competitor sites. Statistics were calculated with the help of R. Monthly and quarterly reports were generated with the in Stanford developed document mark up language LaTeX.

• Results: With standardised reports, we created the base for benchmarking of the facebook accounts of our subsidiaries. Additionally we use the insights in the different markets for implicit trend monitoring. Hence, we are able to help subsidiaries not only with information about benchmarks against competitors, but also about which topics are highly discussed by our facebook community worldwide. Quantitative benchmarking against competitors is extremely helpful to find best practice examples in facebook communication. Thanks to it we are able to improve the communication with our community. With the standardisation of the report we achieved a cheap and fast monitoring of our Facebook sides.

• Added Value: The project helped us and our subsidiaries to use facebook based communication more efficiently with a moderate project budget. Additionally we are able to monitor product relevant ongoing discussions which help us to get an insight into topics which are relevant for our community.

Woppmann-Quick and clever – creating an automated facebook monitoring tool-215.pptx
4:00pm - 5:00pmC4: Social Media in Politics
Session Chair: Jan Schmidt

Development of Municipal E-Government and E-Democracy: Testing the Usefulness and Limitations of Stage Models

Uwe Matzat, Gerrit Rooks

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, The

(a) Relevance & Research Question: E-government is a new way of government based on digital communication that is aimed to be more citizen-centric and efficient. Many authors assume that ICT based changes in government will improve democracy and regard e-democracy as the most advanced form of e-government. Even if there is some agreement in the literature that the adoption of ICTs within local municipalities should follow different stages in a linear order, the empirical evidence of the existence of stages is rather limited (Coursey & Norris 2008). Moreover, there is a lack of sound arguments justifying different stages. In extending the model by Layne and Lee (2001), the paper proposes a model on e-government development, distinguishing between four stages based on the underlying depth of communication between municipality and citizens: 1. information provision, 2. requests of permits and documents, 3. personal service delivery, 4. participatory e-democracy.

(b) Methods & Data: We utilize data on the adoption and development of e-government activities in 311 Dutch municipalities from 2004-2009, provided by a Dutch government agency based on its annual website research. Mokken scale analyses are used to test different versions of stage models on e-government development.

(c) Results: Analyses suggest that it is possible to represent e-government development as a linear path along the four stages on an aggregated level. Yet, a more detailed analysis on individual e-government features illustrates that the municipality stage model is only partly correct. In contrast to what stage models imply, it is shown that municipalities start adopting some e-government features from later stages, before the features from earlier stages have been completely adopted.

(d) Added Value: For the first time ever, we provide large scale evidence for the usefulness and limitations of stage models on e-government development. Only on the aggregated level the linearity assumption holds. However, for describing the development on the level of e-government features a single communication dimension is not enough. Additional dimensions, such as technological complexity are important as well. This finding undermines the value of all stage models that have no explicitly formulated model dimensions.

Matzat-Development of Municipal E-Government and E-Democracy-175.ppt

Social Media Potential in Forecasting Presidential Election Results in Poland 2010

Pawel Kuczma, Wlodzimierz Gogolek

University of Warsaw, Poland

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

The purpose of this study was to identify factors allowing prediction of outcome of presidential election in Poland in 2010 basing on data from Social Media websites in pre-election period.

The research problem was: Is it possible to predict the action (in this case cast a vote for a candidate in the presidential election) basing on content quantitative (number of content related to the subject of the research) and qualitative (the contexts in which they appear and their emotional values) analysis on Social Media?

(b) Methods & Data:

During the study there was analyzed content from Social Media websites (such as social networking sites, forums, blogs and microblogs) and for the purpose of comparison from websites with content written by professionals (information portals).

The study was conducted on the basis of the content published April 10th-July 5th 2010. There were examined the following indicators of content: the amount of content about a candidate, trends/dynamics of changes in the amount of content, qualitative assessment (the result of the analysis of the contexts in which the contents appeared on the presidential candidates, sentiment - distinction between positive and negative content).

(c) Results:

Social Media is extremely valuable source of information that reflects public opinion - including those relating to social and political phenomena, which is confirmed by this study. Although the working hypothesis concerning the possibility of predicting election results was not definitely proven - study helped to provide the names of candidates who qualified for the second round of the election. Moreover, it shows the importance of certain Web 2.0 forms in terms of providing information and the competitiveness of them to the traditional Internet resources.

(d) Added Value:

This research is a first step which allows starting creation of the method supporting the diagnosis of the condition and dynamics of changes of candidates/parties taking part in election. Therefore it can be used to influence democratic processes with Social Media.

Kuczma-Social Media Potential in Forecasting Presidential Election Results in Poland 2010-188.pdf

#EkitiElection: The Acts and Facts of Twittering the Final Judicial Proceedings in Nigeria

Presley Ifukor

University of Osnabrueck, Germany


In Ifukor (2010, 2011) the use of Twitter as a discursive practice in Nigerian electoral process has been presented. Microblogging is an avenue for real-time political deliberations between politicians and the citizenry (Lassen and Brown, 2010; Tumasjan et. al, 2010). Owing to irregularities, Nigerian courts overturned some of the 2007 general elections results and ordered re-runs. Such re-run gubernatorial elections were held in Ekiti State on April 25, 2009 and May 5, 2009 and a re-run senatorial election was held on August 15, 2009 also in Ekiti State. After several judicial rulings and appeals, the final definitive ruling on the gubernatorial election was delivered by the Federal Court of Appeal, Ilorin, Nigeria on October 15, 2010. The research questions this study seeks to answer are what Speech Acts Theory (SAT) can contribute to Twitter locution and how this promotes good governance ethics.


The data consist of 143 publicly accessible tweets harshtagged “EkitiElection” and collected by this author in the night of October 15, 2010 from http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23ekitielection

Ifukor (2011) proposes a taxonomy of political tweet acts with the enunciation of politico-pragmatic force of microblogging. SAT was initially developed by Austin (1962) and reformulated by Searle (1969, 1979). Therefore, using a customized tripartite heuristics of SAT, the textual pattern, discursive and sociocultural practices of the tweets are described, interpreted and explained accordingly.


The preliminary findings of the analysis (n = 145) show that there are 61 Assertives (42%), 41 Expressives (28%), 40 Declarations (28%) and 3 Directives (2%). The high occurrence of assertions is not surprising because of the 'journalistic' nature of the discourse. Sentiments of jubilation and social justice are predominant under the expressives category while the declarations are mainly the judge's reported speech.


Research on the use of Twitter in electoral discourse and for judicial correspondence is still little. This study not only buttresses the fact that social media can be used to explicate social justice, the precision of Twitter messages and the language of micro-correspondence show how communication is being structured for participatory democracy in virtual sphere.

5:00pm - 5:30pmBreak
5:30pm - 6:30pmA5: Data Quality in Surveys
Session Chair: Heiner Barz

Response Quantity, Response Quality, and Costs of Building an Online Panel via Social Contacts

Vera Toepoel

Tilburg University, Netherlands, The

More than 50% of all survey data in the Netherlands are collected via Internet. However, these data may not adequately represent the views of the Dutch people. The majority of the Dutch people are not willing to join a web panel, and from the people that are in a panel the minority (20%) fills out the majority (80%) of the questionnaires (NOPVO, 2006). Therefore, the answers obtained from web panels can differ significantly from the general population. It is well known that panels contain too many (heavy) Internet users and too few ethnic minorities. So how can we get people into a panel that would normally not join and (hopefully) make the results more reliable?

An unconventional approach is used for building this panel: via social networks. Traditionally one could make the distinction between probability and volunteer opt-in panels. Although most survey researchers agree that probability panels are needed for representativeness, the majority of web surveys is based on volunteer opt-in panels because of budget restrains. Volunteer opt-in panels are prone to selection bias, however. This new way of recruitment may increase representativeness compared to volunteer opt-in panels (recruitment is on invitation only; respondent driven sampling can be used for difficult to reach groups) while keeping the costs at a minimum. By asking respondents via friends and relatives to join the panel, respondents that are normally not willing to join a panel might be persuaded to join. The starting point of building the panel are administrative records of Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands (about 7000 students with a national spread). I will investigate response quantity, response quality, and costs and give suggestions about when to use this type of recruitment. Note that the Internet penetration rate in the Netherlands is about 90% in 2010.

Toepoel-Response Quantity, Response Quality, and Costs-164.ppt

The effect of monetary prepaid incentives on completion rate and data quality in internet surveys – A comparison of 5 different incentive modes

Floris van Veen1, Sebastian Sattler1, Anja S. Göritz2

1Bielefeld University, Germany; 2University of Würzburg, Germany

(a)Relevance & Research Question

How to improve data quality and completion rates in online surveys?

(b)Method & Data

We conducted an online experiment in which 1,750 students were randomly assigned to one out of 4 treatments and a control group. Group 1 received a postal prenotification of the survey along with a prepaid voucher. Group 2 received a postal prenotification and a postpaid voucher. Group 3 received a postal prenotification and a prepaid 5 EUR bank note. Group 4 solely received a postal prenotification. Group 5 was the control group and was invited via e-mail. Dependent measures were completion rate, item-nonresponse, straightlining and willingness to self-report sensitive information.


Logit regression models show Group 3 (prenotification and bank note) to significantly outperform all other groups with respect to completion. Including a bank note roughly doubled completion rate. There were no other significant differences between the treated groups with regard to completion. Treatment had no effect on straightlining. The overall amount of straightlining, however, was low. Regression models for count data revealed item-nonresponse to be lowest in Group 2 (prenotification and postpaid voucher) & Group 3 (prenotification and bank note). Most groups differed from one another in item-nonresponse, whereby all treatment groups were superior to the control group. Finally, treatment had no significant effect on respondents' willingness to disclose sensitive information.

(d)Added Value

This is one of the first experiments that tests the effect of a prepaid cash incentive on participation in an online study. We are able to show that including a bank note promotes completion and data quality. We therefore advocate the use of prepaid cash incentives. As there were no differences in the willingness to self-report sensitive information, the different treatments seem to be neutral to respondents' perceptions of anonymity.

van Veen-The effect of monetary prepaid incentives on completion rate and data quality-124.pdf

Social desirability and self-reported health risk behaviors in web-based research: three longitudinal studies

Rik Crutzen1, Anja Göritz2

1Maastricht University/CAPHRI, Netherlands, The; 2University of Würzburg, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: These studies sought to investigate the relation between social desirability and self-reported health risk behaviors (e.g., alcohol use, drug use, smoking) in web-based research.

Methods & Data: Three longitudinal studies (Study 1: N = 5612, 51% women; Study 2: N = 619, 60%; Study 3: N = 846, 59%) among randomly selected members of two online panels (Dutch; German) using several social desirability measures (Marlowe-Crowne Scale; Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding; The Social Desirability Scale-17) were conducted.

Results: Social desirability was not associated with self-reported current behavior or behavior frequency. Socio-demographics (age; sex; education) did not moderate the effect of social desirability on self-reported measures regarding health risk behaviors.

Added Value: The studies at hand provided no convincing evidence to throw doubt on the usefulness of the Internet as a medium to collect self-reports on health risk behaviors.

Crutzen-Social desirability and self-reported health risk behaviors-125.ppt
5:30pm - 6:30pmBC1: Alternatives to Established Frameworks
Session Chair: Sonja Utz

Will Wikis substitute newspapers and YouTube replace TV? Social Web Applications as Functional Alternatives for Traditional Media

Cornelia Jers, Michael Schenk

Universität Hohenheim, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

The Social Web consists of a broad range of different applications which are increasingly adopted by internet users. The diffusion of new media always leads to the question which functions these formats are used for. In the context of the Uses and Gratifications Approach, there is a long tradition of studying media from the perspective of functional alternatives (Rubin 2009). Here, media are considered as options for fulfilling specific needs of the audience that compete with each other and also with non-medial alternatives of need-fulfillment. On this basis, the paper at hand is looking at the question which functions Social Web applications serve for their users. More specifically, it analyses if Social Web applications substitute or complement traditional media.

Methods & Data:

To study these questions, an internet-representative web survey with a sample size of 3030 was conducted in summer 2009. Outcome expectations of six Social Web applications (Wikis, Blogs, Social Networking Sites, Video Platforms, Picture Platforms, Newsgroups) and the traditional media TV, radio, newspapers as well as face-to-face communication were surveyed by an adapted scale based on LaRose/Eastin 2004.


The results show that users ascribe social and communicative functions to all six Social Web applications included in the study. In this respect, Social Web applications resemble face-to-face communication. Furthermore, Video Platforms, Blogs and Social Networking Sites are used for entertainment reasons and, thus, compete with TV and radio use to some extent. Finally, Newsgroups and Social Networking Sites give their users orientation for everyday life and are seen as sources for information; both functions that are also fulfilled by newspapers and TV.

Added Value:

The present study can help to clear the role of the Social Web in society with regard to media functions. It can be shown that Social Web applications extend the range of functions served by the media to outcomes that used to be specific for face-to-face communication. For the future, a growing competition between the Social Web and traditional media can be expected - especially relating to entertainment and information.

Jers-Will Wikis substitute newspapers and YouTube replace TV Social Web Applications as Functional Alternatives-186.pdf

Twitter Monitoring as a television research method

Katrin Jungnickel, Wolfgang Schweiger

TU Ilmenau, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: With the rapid development of the Internet and its attractiveness, the importance for broadcasters to know more about their viewers than simple TV channel reaches and audience segmentations increases. Therefore, while competing for attention, it becomes crucial for them to understand how the audience evaluates and discusses their shows.

Methods & Data: To answer these questions we analyzed the content of Twitter messages via Web Monitoring. When tweeting, people do not only express their opinions about television in general but write about current thoughts, sometimes even during watching TV. This allows researchers to witness immediate reactions instead of relying on what people report about their sentiments later. It also has the advantage of being non-reactive: In interviews people tend to give socially desirable answers, whereas online statements are written in a natural situation. In our pilot study we analyzed 1.003 TV-related tweets posted on one day in May 2010. To find relevant messages, we created a list of keywords and conducted a search via the twitter search engine tzipr.com. The list included keywords relating to television in general as well as the most popular TV channels and shows.

Results: A content analysis of these tweets could show the potentials of Twitter Monitoring data for television research. We found that people write a lot about their viewing behavior and TV content. Tweets containing television-related information were less frequent but got re-tweeted more often, thereby reaching a larger audience. In general, people tended to refer to television usage in a positive way while being more critical concerning the programs they watched. This indicates that they liked watching television partly because it allows them to mock what's happening on a show and the people involved.

Added Value: For audience researchers and media specialists Twitter Monitoring can prove itself to be a useful approach to meter TV viewers' sentiments and opinions. Of course, it will not replace traditional methods like audience ratings and surveys, but it is on a good way to become a new standard for simply and effectively assessing audience images and evaluations of TV channels or shows.

Jungnickel-Twitter Monitoring as a television research method-114.pdf

Twitter as a data source for official statistics: first results

Piet Daas1, Mark van de Ven2, Marko Roos1

1Statistics Netherlands, Netherlands, The; 2Erasmus University Rotterdam

Relevance & Research Question: The social medium Twitter is used by more and more people to discuss topics of interest, exchange information, and/or contact friends and family. In this study we aim to gain insight on the content and usability of the information exchanged by Dutch Twitter users. Focus of the research was the classification of the topics most discussed on Twitter in the Netherlands and the usability of this information for official statistics.

Methods & Data: Two different data collection methods were used. In the first approach the twitter-search option was used to collect all Dutch Twitter messages originating from within the Netherlands over a weekly period. In the other collection method a user oriented approach was used. First, the network of Dutch Twitter users was chartered, resulting in a collection of slightly over 380.000 unique usernames. Next, for every username, up to a maximum of 200 recent Twitter messages were collected. The messages were pre-processed and classified with text-mining techniques.

Results: From the datasets obtained, we produced a classification of the topics discussed on Twitter in the Netherlands. Especially, hashtags (words prefixed with a hash symbol; such as #twitter) were found to be very insightful for our classification studies. The classification results revealed that a considerable amount of the messages collected deal with Dutch media (TV and radio shows), sports events, Dutch Elections and Twitter specific topics; such as twitter software and applications. From the results obtained, we conclude that the topics that are most interesting from a statistics point of view and for which our classification system works best are: politics, non-work (leisure time) activities, and interest in media.

Added Value: In our study we looked at the relevance of the information in Twitter messages from an official statistics point of view. To enable a solid conclusion one of our goals was to get an as complete as possible overview of all Twitter messages created within the Netherlands. According to our knowledge this has never been done before.

Daas-Twitter as a data source for official statistics-131.pdf
5:30pm - 6:30pmC5: Science and Public online (DFG SPP1409)
Session Chair: Monika Taddicken

Both Sides of the Story? – How Information Complexity Influences the Selection of Online Science Articles

Stephan Winter, Nicole C. Krämer, Jana Appel, German Neubaum

University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Easy access to information in the Internet certainly offers new chances for citizens to inform themselves, but this may involve more effort of information processing as well as a high level of media literacy. According to the knowledge-gap hypothesis, it can be assumed that complex or two-sided messages are avoided by users who have limited ability of (or low interest in) processing information. This would be particularly relevant for scientific information, which is typically complex and fragile. Therefore, the present study investigated the influence of information complexity on selective exposure to online science articles.

(b) Methods & Data:

In our experiment, information-seeking behavior of 60 participants on a science weblog was analyzed. As exemplary scenario, the discussion on the effects of violent media contents was chosen. On the overview page of the blog, summaries of articles were shown. The complexity of the given information and the direction of arguments were systematically varied. Information selection and reading time were coded as dependent measures. As personality characteristics, we assessed the users’ need for cognition, reading skills and their attitude towards the topic.

(c) Results:

The results showed that complex, two-sided texts were generally chosen more frequently than one-sided texts. With regard to ability of information processing, users with lower reading skills also preferred complex information, whereas users with higher reading skills generally selected more texts of both kinds. An interaction between complexity and need for cognition demonstrates that users with a high NFC (people who enjoy effortful thinking) showed a stronger preference for complex articles.

(d) Added value:

These findings suggest a general tendency to choose complex messages when searching for information on a scientific topic, not only in the group of users with a high capacity of information processing. This is in contrast to concerns that are connected to the knowledge-gap hypothesis and may underline the potentials of the Web as a source of information for laypersons. Unlike objective reading skills, need for cognition increases the preference for complex over simple information.

Winter-Both Sides of the Story – How Information Complexity Influences the Selection of Online Science Articles-140.pdf

The role of plausibility and coherence in evaluating competing explanations on the internet

Joerg Wittwer, Natalie Wahl

University of Goettingen, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

In daily life, laypersons often encounter information about controversial scientific issues on the internet. An important characteristic of such controversial scientific issues is that there are competing explanations for a scientific phenomenon. Thus, laypersons need to evaluate the quality of the explanations to understand which explanation best explains the scientific phenomenon. Although theories in the philosophy of science postulate criteria for evaluating the quality of explanations, empirical investigations of the psychology reality of these criteria in a layperson’s evaluation are rare. Similarly, is not clear how characteristics of the internet come into play when evaluating explanations. For example, explanations on the internet are often not presented in a coherent fashion. Against this background, we examined the role of plausibility and coherence in explanation evaluation. We made the following predictions: (1) Laypersons assign a higher quality to plausible explanations than to implausible explanations. (2a) Laypersons assign a higher quality to plausible explanations that are coherent than to plausible explanations that are not coherent. (2b) Laypersons assign a higher quality to implausible explanations that are not coherent than to implausible explanations that are coherent.

Methods & Data:

We conducted a study in which we manipulated the plausibility and the coherence of competing explanations for scientific phenomena. A total of N = 240 university students were asked to critically read the explanations and to evaluate their quality. Their mean age was M = 21.90 years (SD = 3.30). Of all university students, 71% were female and 29% were male.


The plausibility significantly affected the evaluation of explanations in that plausible explanations were preferred over implausible explanations. The coherence affected only the evaluation of implausible explanations in that implausible explanations that were coherent were preferred over implausible explanations that were not coherent.

Added Value:

The experiment demonstrated the psychological reality of a preference for plausibility in processing competing explanations. Thus, laypersons tend to routinely check explanations for implausible information. However, when evaluating implausible explanations, their evaluation seems to be contaminated by factors that are not related to the content.

Wittwer-The role of plausibility and coherence-130.ppt

Making Sense out of Scientific Information: How Laypersons Develop Conceptual Understanding in Online Forums

Elisabeth Paus, Regina Jucks

University of Muenster, Germany

A growing number of people visit forums or chat rooms to get informed about a specific topic like, for instance, the efficiency of a new treatment for depression (Baker et al., 2003; Berger, Wagner, & Baker, 2005). Here, they typically encounter information that are related to current research findings and journalistically prepared to be accessible for laypersons. In order to process this type of information appropriately, laypersons must be able to distinguish between the surface meaning and the semantic content of technical terms. This study seeks to examine the extent to which laypersons gain a sophisticated understanding of scientific concepts communicated through technical terms in online discussions on depressive disorders. Based on the phenomenon of lexical alignment, we expect the usage of identical technical terms by interlocutors to hamper the development of a sophisticated understanding of scientific concepts.

Participants were 114 students (38 male) with a mean age of 23.37 years (SD = 4.67) who were randomly assigned to 57 dyads in a 1x2 experimental design. At the beginning, participants individually read one of two text versions in that either the same or different technical terms were used to refer to the same underlying concept. Then, each dyad had to mutually discuss a case study via chat in order to make a decision for an appropriate treatment of depression. Afterwards, individual measures on the understanding of relevant scientific concepts were administered.

Detailed analysis of discussions showed an effect of available terminology on participants’ term usage: Dyads who worked with different terminology engaged more in clarifying the terms’ underlying conceptual meaning, whereas dyads that had the same terms available merely used the terms further on without explicit clarification. The differences in discourse behaviour influenced participants understanding of the topic discussed. As expected, participants in the different terminology condition performed better in post knowledge test and produced more differentiated answers to the case study.

The findings of this study provide insight in laypersons’ processing of scientific-related information in online discourse. Implications for the design of journalistic texts as well as supporting tools in forums and chat rooms are discussed.

Paus-Making Sense out of Scientific Information-135.pdf
8:00pmGOR Party
Date: Wednesday, 16/Mar/2011
9:30am - 10:15amKeynote 2: George Terhanian, Toluna: The Future of Online Market Research
10:15am - 10:30amBreak
10:30am - 11:30amA6: Election Studies and Respondent Behavior
Session Chair: Sören Scholz

Tracking the decision-making process – Findings from an Online Rolling Cross-Section Panel Study

Thorsten Faas1, Johannes N. Blumenberg1, Holger Geißler2, Felix Tewes2

1University of Mannheim, Germany; 2YouGovPsychonomics AG

Relevance & Research Question:

One of the most important trends in electoral behaviour is the loss of stability in recent years. That said, it becomes increasingly important to study (and hence observe) short-term effects. But tracking decision-making processes has always been a challenge to academia as well as market researchers, since neither our traditional theories nor our tools are specifically designed to examine such short term effects. To overcome this deficiency we will conduct an innovative study design in the run-up to the 2011 Baden-Württemberg state election. It combines panel elements with the general idea of a rolling cross-section survey, yielding rolling cross-section panel waves. The rolling-cross section part provides us with the opportunity to track developments in the course of the campaign on a day-by-day basis, while the panel gives insight into intra-individual decision-making process. Our contribution will focus on the design of the study, but will also include findings from the first wave of our study that will be fielded in November 2011.

Methods & Data:

In the run-up to the 2011 Baden-Württemberg state election, we will conduct a five wave-panel. Respondents are recruited from YouGov’ access panel. The first wave (with n=4000) – providing a “pre-test” before the final phase of the campaign starts – will be fielded in November/December 2010. The following three waves will be conducted in the final six weeks before Election Day in order to get an extensive insight into the decision-making processes. Wave 5 will be a standard post-election wave.


Since the GOR-Conference will take place when our study is still in progress, we will only be able to present first findings mainly from our first wave. However, we will focus on outlining the concept and innovations of our Rolling Cross-Section Panel Study.

Added Value:

The paper presents a very innovative research study useful tools for academic and non-academic researchers that are interested in individual decision-making processes in future surveys.

A new approach to the analysis of survey drop-out. Results from Follow-up Surveys in the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES).

Joss Rossmann1, Jan Eric Blumenstiel2, Markus Steinbrecher3

1GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany; 2Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim; 3University of Mannheim

(a) Relevance & Research Question

The proposed paper builds on findings presented by the authors at the GOR 10. High drop-out rates are considered a major shortcoming of web surveys and considerably threaten data quality. However, despite growing scholarly attention the knowledge on survey drop-out is still fractional. Previous research mainly addresses the impact of survey design, question wording, and characteristics of the respondents on survey drop-out via ex-post statistical methods. The research presented here is innovative in that the respondents are asked directly about the reasons for dropping out, the interview situation, and psychological predispositions in a follow-up survey.

(b) Methods & Data

Based on our previous research regarding survey drop-out, the principal investigators of the GLES granted funding for a series of short follow-up surveys of drops-outs. These surveys will be conducted subsequently to three consecutive online trackings of the GLES, beginning in December 2010. According to experience, a gross sample size of about 400 drop-outs per survey can be expected. Given an estimated response rate of 60 percent a net sample size of 210 to 240 per tracking is anticipated, thus providing a unique database of more than 600 interviews with drop-outs. Since the most essential items are also included in the tracking surveys, the design allows for comparisons between drop-outs and complete responders. Due to the explorative character of the research, the presentation will mainly focus on descriptive statistics as well as multivariate models illustrating our major findings.

(c) Results

First results will be available by mid-January 2011.

(d) Added Value

Follow-up surveys of respondents who dropped-out allow for an enhanced understanding of the complex processes underlying the phenomenon, especially with respect to the subjective reasons of the respondents as well as the situational influences and psychological predispositions, which cannot be studied applying ex-post statistical procedures. In this regard, our research will add to the knowledge on the reasons for drop-out in web surveys and amend both the theoretical explanations of and the prospects for reducing drop-outs.

Rossmann-A new approach to the analysis of survey drop-out Results from Follow-up Surveys-183.pdf

Measuring Political Deliberation on Twitter: Forms and Functions of Digital Interaction through Microblogging

Caja C. Thimm, Jessica Einspänner, Mark Dang-Anh

University of Bonn, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Partly driven by social media, the mediatisation of society has spawned new forms of political communication in the public sphere, accompanied by high hopes for more deliberative discourse along the Habermasian model of deliberative democracy. The paper explores how patterns of interaction and argumentation of political discourse on twitter evolve online discoursive practices.

Methods & Data: Material basis consists of 2500 tweets, which were collected during the 2010 North Rhine Westphalia state election. These tweets include: (1) tweets by selected candidates of each party, (2) by print media twitter portals, (3) by regular citizens posting about the election. These tweets were documented in a data basis three weeks prior to and one week after the election. By using the methods of content analysis, argumentation theory, and speech act theory, the focus of the analysis included semantic references (#hashtags), action level of the exchanges (@replies and @retweets) between the respective user groups, and cross media references in the journalistic brand media. The overall methodolocgial process can be characterized by triangulation, combining qualitative and quantiative measures.

Results: The quantitative analysis revealed that most tweets (80%) were single item, non-referential postings by media brands. The qualitiave analysis, however, showed, that closer to the elections, politicians engaged in an “in-group interaction”, by which members of the same or competing parties exchanged their views among each other. The broader public did not participate as actively as hypothesized.

Added Value: It will be argued that so far the idealized concept of the deliberative demoracy is only partly supported by the data, as the average citizen does not participate very actively. On the contrary, at least the data from 2010, shows excluding tendencies as the press/politican activists form an ingroup on twitter.The paper thus offers a critical insight into new ways of political deliberation via social media.

10:30am - 11:30amB3: Applying Social Communities in Market Research
Session Chair: Wolfgang Ziniel

Use and Utility of Semantic Web Research in Measurement and Prediction of Customer Behavior

Roland Bischof1, Mareike Ahlers2

1artebis ag, Switzerland; 2Bruhn & Partner, Switzerland

a) Relevance & Research Question

Research findings indicate that online research results appear less vulnerable than F2F research methods to hardly controllable measurement-errors by effects of ‘social expectancy’ and ‘self-presentation in a status hierarchy’. These types of errors may be reduced even more in an purely observational (‘passive’) measurement construct compared to interventional (‘active’) online research approaches conducted using traditional questionnaires.

Literature reports indicate also that the personal relationship of customers to products, services and companies is more predictive of the success of end-customer (B2C) oriented business-models than more traditional market research constructs, e.g., product-awareness and customer-satisfaction.

The main goal of this study is to proof for the supremacy of a new developed, observational and semantic research methodology in terms of efficacy, accuracy and validity over established offline and online approaches used in market research.

b) Methods & Data:

Our paper, describing an observational, software-driven approach in data gathering and semantic analysis of personal-relation and customer-satisfaction measurements, based on combined Web 1.0 and social media content, relies on concrete market-research study data. Its focus however lies on methodological and validation issues.

c) Results

Our results indicate that online research and the use of the personal relationship construct show high external validity in predicting brand- switching, customer loyalty and success of companies providing service in the insurance business area. The correlation with the external validator was considerably higher than the external correlation with the methods compared to.

d) Added Value

End-user reviews and comments published in the web play an increasingly important role in the perception and success of products, services and companies. It therefore becomes a key success factor to benchmark these on their own easily and well-priced from a user perspective, and to determine predictors of future customer behavior.

Results of the presented semantic analysis of end-user reviews and comments indicate a considerable higher efficacy, accuracy and validity of results than was achieved by a big traditional CATI market research with more than 1000 calls, and an online-questionary with more than 2500 participants, respectively.

Bischof-Use and Utility of Semantic Web Research-181.pdf

Co-Creation with Lead Users on the Digital Research Platform www.dieNEONauten.de

Nicolas Loose

NEONauten Consulting, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

www.dieNEONauten.de is an example of digital research 2.0, a new kind of online research. The publishing house Gruner + Jahr and the qualitative research boutique STURM und DRANG have created this online platform in order to conduct innovative studies with lead users. The research methods make full use of the technical and social dynamics of the web 2.0. During the best practice presentation we will give a short overview of the concept behind the NEONauten and show some results from case studies which illustrate the specific advantages of digital, collaborative lead user research.

Methods & Data:

On the basis of a detailed screening process we have selected 250 members from the neon.de community for our lead user community. On the NEONauten-platform we provide them with the opportunity to discuss their real life experiences and ideas concerning consumption and translate them into relevant market insights. The co-creation platform benefits from the high identification of the community members with the brand NEON. The strong intrinsic motivation qualifies the NEON reader as an ideal partner for media based research. For each study we recruit 10-20 lead users who collaborate in one of five different research modules. In these modules the NEONauten never work isolated. Research and concept development follow the principle of open source and use the synergy effects of collaboration to generate relevant consumer impulses.


The results of research and development projects with the NEONauten are an example of the advantages of collaborative lead user research: Based on self-observation, storytelling and photographic documentation the research-oriented projects show the authentic life of the participants. Co-creation projects produce an output with high market relevance which is based on the specific needs of actual lead users.

Added Value:

Open innovation also means that the client is integrated into the process at all times. Clients have the role of observers on the online platform. Trained moderators translate the questions of the clients into tasks for the NEONauten. This allows clients to actively influence the exploration process. A facilitated collaboration between the client and the NEONauten is the result.

Loose-Co-Creation with Lead Users on the Digital Research Platform wwwdieNEONautende-191.pdf

Online Experiments Examining the Influence of Third-Party Product Reviews on Key Constructs in Consumer Behaviour

Wolfgang Ziniel

WU-Vienna, Austria

Third-Party Product Reviews (TPPRs) are neutral (as far as the producers’ interests are concerned) and consumer-orientated product tests that are carried out by experts. The reviews are published in special-interest-magazines like PC-World, Runner’s World, Decanter or Wine Advocate and on the magazines’ web pages respectively. Market observations provide strong evidence that Third-Party Product Reviews (TPPRs) significantly influence the success or failure of the products evaluated (Chen and Xie, 2005). Apart from purely descriptive contributions, however, there have not been any studies so far that examine the impact of such test information on purchase behaviour. This work aims at diminishing this gap in marketing research by studying the relevance of TPPRs for product choice decisions.

A paired comparison choice experiment applying a conjoint design is conducted online and analysed by fitting a Bradley-Terry model in R. The study took place in the context of quality wines. A 2 (brand, high/low reputation) x 4 (TPPR, good, bad, editor’s choice, none) x 2 (price level, € 6 und € 10) between subjects orthogonal design (8 cards) was created and administered among online access panel members (n=500). Each respondent completed 14 randomly assigned paired compariso choice tasks. Additionally subject-specific covariates like perceived credibility, product knowledge or product class involvement were measured applying dichotomous RASCH models.

The results provide strong evidence that - apart from brand and price – TPPR strongly shape choice behaviour. Good TPPR and the editor’s choice attribute showed strong positive worth parameters and thus exert considerable influence on product choice processes while high prices caused negative impacts. Interestingly winery reputation and bad TPPR exerted nearly no influence. This might be a hint that TPPRs are mainly used for a positive confirmation when intending to buy a specific wine. It could also be shown that the covariates chosen significantly moderated the effects.

Firstly this work will help firms to understand the relevance of a test result for choice processes. Secondly it demonstrates how to avoid problems of rating scales in complex and multi-attribute online choice experiments by applying the Bradley-Terry model and dichotomous Rasch models in psychometric marketing research.

10:30am - 11:30amC6: Virtual Actions, Real Feelings
Session Chair: Benedikt Köhler

More style than substance? Misrepresentation in online mate search

Doreen Zillmann, Schmitz Andreas

University of Bamberg, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: In recent times, the internet has become an important partner market. Especially dating sites have established specific opportunity structures for finding a mate online. Finding a mate requires information about potential mates in the market and an evaluation of the information in order to realize a satisfying match. In online dating, a major source of information is the user’s self-presentation in his online profile. Due to the special opportunity structure of online dating sites, there is a fundamental problem of information asymmetry ; namely, the sender of information is in a better position to know the truth about important characteristics (e.g. about age, educational level) than the receiver is. Thus, misrepresentation and selective self-presentation in the online profile are easily performed and – on the receiver’s side – difficult to discover.

In this paper, we (1) analyse the frequency of misrepresentation and (2) actors’ strategies of misrepresentation in online dating profiles.

Methods & Data: We use survey data from an online panel study conducted on a major German online dating site.

Results: Regarding the first question, our data show that there is a general low proportion of (stated) misrepresentation. Regarding our second research question, the empirical results show that, in general, misrepresentation varies with men’s and women’s mate value which reflects their chances of finding a mate. Focusing on men’s and women’s misrepresentation of their educational level and physical attractiveness, our analysis reveal that men and women use deception strategically to compensate for disadvantages in the online mate market due to the possession of unattractive resources from the perspective of the opposite gender. Furthermore, there are trade-off mechanisms at work as men and women are able to compensate for disadvantages not only by using deception but also by signaling additional valuable resources they can offer to potential mates.

Added Value: Our results suggest that (1) the extent of the trust problem within the online mating market is on the basis of stated misrepresentation small and (2) while presenting them-selves to potential mates, men and women (still) refer to traditional norms and gender roles.

Zillmann-More style than substance Misrepresentation-157.pdf

Hum@n Touch = Healing Touch? Psychological effects of private HIV-Blogs on recipients’ health cognitions

German Neubaum1, Nicole C. Krämer1, Bettina Fromm2

1University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany; 2Zentrum für Medien- und Gesundheitskommunikation e.V., Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Within the context of user-generated applications in the Web 2.0 more and more people with serious diseases use diary-like weblogs to share their intimate thoughts and experiences with the world. Previous studies investigated the reasons for patients to engage in online self-disclosure, the effects of such personal and emotional diaries on non-diseased recipients are largely unexplored. The current study examined whether the reception of a HIV-weblog affects the recipients´ relevant cognitions and subsequent health behavior (e.g. condom use). Against the background of the framing concept, the risk-as-feelings hypothesis and findings of persuasion research, narrative and person-centered messages can be assumed to be more influential with regard to health-related self-beliefs and the preventive health behavior than general disease information.

Methods & Data:

In an online experiment, 261 participants were assigned to one of the two conditions that varied with regard to the framing of a message. The experimental condition included four articles of a fictitious HIV-weblog with a personal perspective as a stimulus, while the control condition contained four articles of a governmental AIDS website with the same content as the weblog, but from a non person-centered perspective. As dependent variables, perceived credibility of the source, recall of the content, attention towards the different types, perceptions of personal risk of infection, attitudes towards condoms and their use, self-efficacy towards condom use and intention to use condoms were measured.


The person-centered HIV-weblog had a better effect on content-recall and attention towards the presented message than the non person-centered website. Further, the attitudes and the self-efficacy towards condom use of the weblog-readers were significantly better than those of the website-readers. Nevertheless, the perceived credibility as well as the severity of HIV was perceived higher in the non person-centered condition.

Added value:

The personal and emotional frame of patients’ weblogs affects health related cognitions of the recipients in a positive way. Therefore, health related messages with a “human touch” might be an appropriate means to persuade non-diseased readers to show a preventive health behavior. This aspect should be considered in future (online) health communication.

Neubaum-Hum@n Touch Healing Touch Psychological effects-152.pdf
10:30am - 11:30amR1: Roundtable: Qualitative Online Research - Status quo and quality criteria

Qualitative Online Research - Status quo and quality criteria

Lisa Neundorfer1, Otto Hellwig2, Ilka Kuhagen3, Gerhard Keim4, Frank Lüttschwager5, Andreas Woppmann6

1IFAK Institute; 2Respondi; 3IKM München; 4GIM Gesellschaft für Innovative Marktforschung; 5Ears & Eyes; 6MAM Babyartikel

The qualitative online research has not yet established as a field of research. However, it shows a dynamic development and projects, presented on conferences, bear witness of an eagerness to experiment. Manifold communication tools of the web 2.0 are utilised to explore opinions and analyse attitudes online. Research carried out online does not only take place in closed chat rooms and forums moderated by qualitative experts. Communication with consumers does also happen directly between companies and their target groups via online communities. Netnographer scour newsgroups and blogs in their hunt for “consumer insights”, and market research institutes develop (or work with) MROC’s, with which selected, more creative respondents are involved more directly and on a long-term basis into the development process of new products by initiating “co-creation”-sessions.

In which cases is it de facto qualitative market research – just based online? Where are the transitions to marketing? Which challenges derive for qualitative market research? Do we need online-specific characteristics and quality criteria to prove the quality of qualitative online research?

The round table is planned to enable an open discussion between invited experts for qualitative online research and interested participants of the GOR, and will be moderated by Lisa Neundorfer. After a short introduction into the topic with hypotheses and derived questions (5 min), every invited expert issues his or her statement (max. 3-5min). Afterwards the topic and upcoming questions will be up for a mutual discussion between all participants of the session.


Lisa Neundorfer, IFAK Institut


Otto Hellwig, RESPONDI

Ilka Kuhagen, IKM München

Dr. Gerhard Keim , GIM Gesellschaft für Innovative Marktforschung

Frank Lüttschwager, Ears & Eyes

Andreas Woppmann, MAM Babyartikel

11:30am - 12:30pmP: Poster Presentations

“Me, myself and my Avatar?” - Cultural differences of character attachment and usage motivation in MMORPGs

Daniel Schultheiss1, Nicholas David Bowman2, Christina Schumann1

1Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany; 2Young Harris College, GA, USA


The popularity of video games has caused entertainment scholars to change the way we think about the interactions between audiences and mediated characters. Whereas in the past, scholars used the term parasocial interaction to explain feelings of connectedness with fictional characters (Perse & Powell, 1985), video games have qualitatively changed this conceptualization because they have made the distance between video game characters and their users much more proximal, if not completely removing the distinction altogether. Thus, a distinguishing feature relevant to the current study that separates video games from non-interactive media is the psychological merging of a player’s and a character’s mind (Oatley, 1999), referred to in literature as character attachment (CA; Lewis et al., 2008). The current study extends work on Internet game play motivations (Sherry et al., 2006; Yee, 2006) by investigating the unique role of CA in explaining RPG gamers’ motivations for their game play in different cultural areas like North America, Europe and Asia.

Methods & Data:

Survey data of this study (N ~ 500) was collected from North American, European and Asian gamers in online surveys, and comparisons regarding the expected cultural differences will be made with respect to a variety of theoretically-relevant socio-demographic variables.


Our study will investigate the effect of CA on a variety of video game play motivations identified in the literature (e.g., pro-social and anti-social gaming; Sherry et al., 2006; Yee, 2006). In addition, our study will examine the effects of CA on the economics of RPG Internet games, including willingness to pay for games. Key results contain quite strong correlations between CA and pro-social gaming motivations as well as differences in the strength of CA in different cultural areas.

Added value:

Our research analyzes player and character identity, how it might relate to motivations for game play, and how it differs in distinct cultural areas. It provides us with insight as to how study respondents ‘see’ their characters – or perhaps more appropriately, how they see themselves as their character – and how this person/avatar perception influences their play styles.

Schultheiss-“Me, myself and my Avatar”-145.pdf

“What a girl wants” – Female playing patterns in Internet-based games

Daniel Schultheiss

Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany


While video gaming – especially Internet gaming – has grown in population in recent years, one population of nontraditional gamers that has exploded in recent years is female gamers. In the US forty percent of all gamers are female and female gamers demographically are the fastest growing group of gamers (ESA, 2010). Not surprising is that girls and women are highly motivated to seek out entertainment and that they tend expect high-quality information and communication technologies.

The current study askes specifically for female gamer’s usage behaviors with Internet-based video games. The focus is specifically on these games because of their social nature (Smith & Collock, 1999) and on their relative ease of ownership and operation (Schultheiss, Bowman & Schumann, 2008); unlike other types of video games, Internet games do not require expensive hardware or deep technological knowledge to play, only a modest computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to be entertained. So there is a broad base of people who are able to use them.

Methods & Data:

Survey data of female players (N ~ 1,900) was collected online worldwide, and compared to a random sample of same size of male gamers from a larger data set of respondents (N ~ 10,000). Variables examined include standard socio-demographics (age, origin, occupation, etc.), different types of Internet-based video games (casual, persistent, single-player and multi-player games) as well as comparisons between female and male players.


Core results show on the one hand that female players prefer less complex games and on the other hand female players use single-player more frequently compared to the more social multi-player games than male players. In addition, female players showed higher usage times and a greater willingness to pay for special types of Internet-based video games (e.g. casual browser-based games) than male players, which has implications for the economic impact of this over-looked segment of the video game audience.

Added Value:

As the results especially on the usage behaviors and the economic potential are relatively new our discussion delivers important knowledge in the context of a larger program of research on female Internet gamers.

Schultheiss-“What a girl wants” – Female playing patterns-147.pdf

Screening for Perceived Website Usability: The PWU-g-Scale

Caroline Buhl, Meinald Thielsch

University of Münster, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Nowadays the World Wide Web is an essential communication medium for most people in their private and business life. Usability is one key aspect of website perception and is defined as the extent of effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction which enables web users to achieve their aims, for example searching and finding specific information. While there are several broad questionnaires to measure website usability a short screening instrument is still lacking. Thus, in several previous studies we developed a screening scale for website usability. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the construct validity of the Scale for Measuring Perceived Website Usability-german (PWU-g).

Methods & Data:

In terms of the construct validity the PWU-g was used amongst additional convergent and discriminative scales for evaluating different website aspects. Based on expert ratings a set of ten websites from different categories was developed. The main study consists of a total of 305 participants between 18 and 59 years (one third male) who completed an online survey. Each participant assessed only one website which was assigned to them at random.


The analysis showed evidence for factor/construct, convergent, divergent, and discriminative validity. With regard to factor/construct validity, the PWU-g emerged being unidimensional. The seven items explain about 73 % of the variance. The PWU-g showed high internal consistency (α = .95). The results of convergent validity ranged between r = .59 and r = .84. Concerning divergent validity statistical values were lower (.01 ≤ r ≤ .59) than those of convergent validity, yet significant in part. In terms of the discriminative validity the effect size of the mean value differences was d = 1.74. The 95 % confidence interval ranged between 1.15 and 2.33. Consequently the PWU-g is able to discriminate between websites characterized by their extent of usability.

Added Value:

In sum the PWU-g is a standardized short scale for evaluating perceived website usability which fulfills the scientific demands of objectivity, reliability and validity. The questionnaire is suitable for websites from different categories and for any population. Furthermore it provides an economic assessment of websites concerning time and costs. These aspects argue for the use of the PWU-g.

Determinants of Social Business Network Usage Behavior – Applying the Technology Acceptance Model and it's Extensions

Guido Moeser1, Gero Schwenk2, Heiko Moryson2

1University of Siegen, Germany; 2University of Giessen, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Usage of social business networks like LinkedIn and XING has become a commonplace in today's workplaces. This research addresses the question what factors drive the intention to use social business networks. Theoretical frame of the study is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and it's extensions, most importantly the TAM2 model.

Methods & Data: Data has been collected via a Web Survey among users of LinkedIn and XING from January to April 2010. Of 541 initial responders 321 finished the questionaire. Operationalization was tested using confirmatory factor analyses and causal hypotheses were evaluated by means of structural equation modeling.

Results: Core result is that the TAM2 model generally holds in the case of social business network usage behavior, explaining 73% of the observed usage intention. This intention is most importantly driven by perceived usefulness, attitude towards usage and social norm, with the latter effecting both directly and indirectly over perceived usefulness. However, perceived ease of use has – contrary to hypothesis – no direct effect on the attitude towards usage of social business networks.

Added Value: The results of this research provide implications for social busines network design and marketing. Customers seem to evaluate ease of use as an integral part of the usefulness of such a service which leads to a situation where it can not be dealt with separately by a service provider. Furthermore, the strong direct impact of social norm implies application of viral and peer-2-peer marketing techniques.

Moeser-Determinants of Social Business Network Usage Behavior – Applying the Technology Acceptance Model and its E.doc

Does the computer know better, who are you looking for? Case study of introduction of a behavior-based recommendation system on an online dating site

Laszlo Lorincz1, Gyorgy Dozsa2

1Habostorta Ltd, Hungary; 2Gravity R&D, Hungary

Relevance & Research Question:

Some online dating platforms completely delegates the task of search to the user, but others heavily concentrates on recommendations given to them. A recommendation system affects the patterns of users’ partner choice, and if planned prudently, can create value added to the site. However precaution is necessary, as dating is significantly different from e-commerce, the traditional field of recommendation engines.

First, this study overviews the specialties of online dating business: what should be known from the sociological, social network and psychological literature of partner selection, when introducing a recommendation system.

Second, we analyze, how did the particular system affect the behavior of users. How did the number of contacts, the degree distribution of contacts, and the homophily change?

An interesting question is performance: whether the behavioral based recommendation system gives better results, than the users’ own searches.

Finally, we discuss, how does the layout (GUI) of the recommendation affect the above questions

Methods & Data:

Randivonal, Hungary’s market leader dating site introduced a behavior based recommendation system developed by Gravity R&D in 2010. The new system was introduced after a three month test period, when only the half of the users got the new recommendations. The other half got the previous simple demography based recommendations. Usage of the dating site, including clicking on the recommendations, and contacts to other users was logged during the trial period, and the database was archived later at the end of the research.


CT on the new system was increased by 106% in the test group. This resulted in a 24% increase in views of other users’ profiles and 13% increase in messages written. (Results will be supplemented with additional data regarding Q2 and Q3)

Added Value:

Behavior based recommendation on dating sites is a novel practice, only few sites introduced such systems to date, therefore not much is known about this business model. Furthermore, though there is an increasing body of research analyzing the sociological effects of online dating, however, it is not known, how it is different by types of dating sites.

Lorincz-Does the computer know better, who are you looking for Case study-224.pdf

User Generated Content on News Websites: What makes users comment on news?

Patrick Weber

Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich, Switzerland

User Comments on news websites are of both practical (e.g. engage users in website use and thereby increase the “stickiness” of the site) and scholarly relevance. The research builds on two approaches: First, the theory of newsworthiness. It is assumed that that the psychological mechanisms on which news factors operate are also relevant for commenting. RQ1: How do news factors influence the number of comments an article receives? Second, a theoretical framework to UGC which highlights the role of “transformational rules” (modifications of user messages by the providers of a mass media website).RQ2: How do different transformational rules influence the number of comments an article receives?

Online content analysis of the political news coverage on welt.de, focus.de and sueddeutsche.de in two constructed weeks during fall 2008. A web crawler was used to download all pages of the websites at a randomly selected access time and a sub-sample was randomly selected and analyzed by 21 coders. For each news article 3 groups of variables were coded: the news website; number of user comments; news factors; the publication time; a set of variables characterizing the linking of the article on the homepage and the politics section homepage of the website which were factor-analyzed to obtain indices for two dimensions of the prominence of the linking for the article (salience). The coding yielded complete data for 559 articles.

Data were analyzed by fitting a negative binomial regression model. The likelihood ratio chi² comparing this model with null (constant only) model was significant (LR chi2(16)=391,72; p=0,0000). Significant effects of the transformation rules (website=welt.de b=2,2 p<0,000; website=focus.de b=1,5 p<0,000), salience indices (homepage salience b=0,59 p<0,000; politics section salience b=0,47 p<0,000) and the news factors ethnocentricity (b=0,44 p<0,000), duration (b=0,64 p<0,000), controversy (b=0,24 p<0,045), unexpectedness (b=-0,39 p<0,047), reach (b=0,48 p<0,006), damage (b=0,38 p<0,006) and facticity (b=-1,08 p<0,06).

Added Value: First empirical evidence for the relevance of transformational rules in the process of user content generation on mass media websites. The study showed that content features of news stories (news factors) as well as presentation characteristics (salience of the teaser on the homepage) are influential.

Weber-User Generated Content on News Websites-230.ppt

LeLeCon Research project: Cost-benefit calculation of blended-learning vs. teaching in higher education

Anna K. Schwickerath

Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany

LeLeCon project: Cost-benefit calculation of blended-learning vs. teaching in higher education

Relevance and Research Question:

LeLeCon is an empirical study, which looks at the costs and expenditure (for example of time) needed to develop, perform and evaluate e-learning, especially blended-learning courses in comparison to traditional academic teaching.

LeLeCon is a cooperative project between three faculties (humanities, economics, medicine). This cooperation is in particular beneficial considering the relevance of faculty cultures as one significant part of the study.

Research questions are: What does academic teaching cost? Can blended learning save us time and money or is it more time-consuming than traditional teaching?

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Methods and Data:

The study is based on one survey and several qualitative interviews among professors and lecturers at the Heinrich-Heine-University. Along the lines of our project cooperation we asked 70 employees of the participating departments in our first survey.

In reverence to the results we started to arrange guideline based interviews with professors and lecturers at the HHUD.

At present we arrange a web survey to achieve a larger number of cases.


Due to the results of our first survey the preparation of blended learning courses in some cases required more time than traditional courses: The average time for the preparation of blended learning courses is about 100 hours – for traditional teaching ten hours less were needed. But looking at different categories results were the opposite. This survey also revealed the impact of faculty cultures on the perception of the amount of time which is spend on academic teaching.

First results show that work experience seems to be the crucial point when it comes to questions of work load and its perception.

We intent to show first results of the web survey on our poster.

Added Value:

In times of increasing financial responsibility for universities (in Germany) controlling becomes more and more important even in higher education teaching. This study aims to improve the methods of time and work load measurement in order to support universities to become more efficient in using either eLearning or traditional course arrangements.

The Perception of Online Media’s Relevance in the Context of Elections

Marco Dohle, Gerhard Vowe

University of Düsseldorf, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: The research question reads: Which political influences are implied to which online media by whom, and what consequences does this have on political beliefs and attitudes? In a survey participants were asked how they estimate the political influence of online media on themselves and on others. The study focused on theoretical approaches such as the third-person effect and the influence of presumed media influence approach. The main relevance is to investigate the political power that is implied by people to online media in comparison to traditional media.

Methods & Data: The study was realized in the context of the state parliamentary election in North Rhine-Westphalia 2010. An online survey was conducted. The study brought about a total of 875 valid cases: 212 respondents were politicians, 74 were journalists. The third group was made up of 589 other people. The questionnaire included items concerning the perceptions of the political influence of traditional media and different online media. The participants had to assess the influences on themselves, on the anonymous general public (the so-called third persons) and on different other groups, such as first-time voters. Additionally, other variables were included in the questionnaire – especially items regarding the consequences of these perceptions.

Results: Politicians, journalists, and students believed themselves to be less susceptible by traditional media than third persons – this is in line with the results of other third-person effect studies with a focus on traditional media. However, results were different regarding presumed influences of online media : especially politicians and journalists believed themselves to be more influenceable by online media than other persons. Moreover, participants opined that online media have a more positive influence on themselves and on other persons compared to traditional media.

Added Value: We compared the presumed media influence with regard to different (online) media and different groups. The results show that it is necessary to differentiate between presumed influences of traditional and online media (and additionally between different online media). Based on this, we will discuss notable characteristics of online media regarding presumed political influences and its consequences on attitudes and behavior.

Dohle-The Perception of Online Media’s Relevance-128.pptx

Going beyond the click. Combining behavioural and declarative data in measuring on-line advertising effectiveness.

Barbara Krug, Małgorzata Półtorak

IIBR (Gemius Group), Poland

Relevance & Research Question:

The internet importance as advertising medium grows. Does higher spending automatically translates into communication effectiveness? Not really. Market research conducted by Gemius shows that the Internet users negatively assess internet ads compared to traditional media. Is the negative perception related with the media specific, or rather with creative and media planning quality? Thus, we need to understand how our campaign really works.

Typically, clicks and successful conversions to the landing page are used to measure direct response to the campaign. They perfectly assess ad effectiveness, when conversion is the only objective. But, like every advertising, online campaigns may be expected to do more: affect brand awareness, perception, purchase.

To what extent may the direct response indicators explain the effectiveness in more elusive aspects? Does better performance in terms of clicks imply higher persuasiveness? What is the relative impact of the ad format and creative idea? How to measure total impact of the ad?

Methods & Data:

We conducted a case study with Unilever and Onet.pl (the biggest polish portal) in summer 2010 for Knorr Nudle campaign (3 formats x 3 creatives).

Combining site-centric and declarative approach in natural experiment, we got comprehensive assessment of the campaign as regards: reach, communication and effect.

The total sample sizes were: 621 210 (site-centric module) and 893 (questionnaire).


High direct response indicators may correlate with high persuasiveness nor impact on the brand. High CTR implies noticeability, however ads with low CTR may still generate satisfactory ad branded awareness.

Aggressive formats work better for less noticeable creatives, while static ones are safer for very dynamic designs.

Creative line with lower direct response turned out to better meet the campaign key objectives. In traditional approach, the creative with higher CTR would be used.

Added Value:

Results of the project provide better understanding of the mechanism of online advertising impact. The approach would help to optimise online campaigns. It will be useful for advertisers, media houses and the publishers.

Krug-Going beyond the click Combining behavioural and declarative data-223.pdf

Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk for the recruitment of participants in Internet-based research

Ulf-Dietrich Reips1,2, Laura Buffardi1, Tim Kuhlmann3

1University of Deusto, Spain; 2IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain; 3University of Mainz, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Recently, there has been a surge in the use of Amazon's Mechanical Turk as a way of recruiting participants for online research. Mechanical Turk (MT) is a mini job market, where short and easy jobs are posted by “employers” and completed by “workers” for relatively little pay. Workers are primarily motivated by payment. In economics, a field in which many online studies have recently used MT, this may be a valid recruitment method. However, from a psychology and social science perspective, it seems questionable to employ "workers" as participants. The main motivation of research participants in these fields is usually to contribute to science, help researchers, and to learn about one's self. Thus, we expected that participants recruited from MT would provide lower quality of data than participants recruited via other sources.

Methods & Data: For a large-scale test development project with 160 items, the multiple site entry technique was used to recruit samples from different sites and in different modes. Among the recruitment sites and modes were mailing lists, web study lists, blog announcements, Facebook groups, and MT. Overall, there were 1583 respondents in the study, among them 1190 recruited via MT.

Results: Participants recruited via MT had faster response times (mean difference: 14859ms/page; median difference: 3348ms/page) and answered more to the middle of response scales than participants recruited via other sources. In fact, out of the 64 items with different means, MTurkers scored more in the middle of the scale in 50 items.

Added Value: Several indicators support the hypothesis that participants recruited via MT provide lower quality data than participants from traditional sources for online research. We speculate that the root of these findings is that participants sign up as "worker." Workers respond to be paid and research participants respond to help with research. A second reason why MT workers provide lower quality data may be tied to the forums they have established where jobs are discussed, including online studies. It may well be that rumors and experiences spread in these forums lead to a decrease in data quality.

Media trust, social capital and institutional trust in Europe

Marco Carradore

University of Verona, Italy

  • Media trust, social capital, institutional trust

Empirical research on the media shows that they have important effects in determining the political behaviour of citizens. In this way, some scholars have shown that the media decrease citizens’ political participation and trust in political. On the other hand, other scholars have shown that contemporary mass media have a significant impact in promoting democracy, political knowledge and civic engagement.

This study examines the relationship between citizens’ trust in the media, the use of the media for obtaining information about politics and political matters, and the effects of social capital and trust in the European Parliament. In this study, the first objective is to find out if people living in an area where social capital is more widespread have more trust in the media and in the European institutions. The second objective is to analyse the influence of exposure to the media and widely spread social capital on citizens’ trust in the European Parliament.

  • Logistic regression, Eurobarometer 71.1, sample survey

The data came from a probability sample survey of European residents (Eurobarometer 71.1), and were analysed using multivariate statistical techniques.

  • Information media, trust newspaper, trust television

The study shows that people’s trust in the media, their use of the media and their trust in political institutions (European Parliament), depend on the diffusion of social capital. As noted by Pichler and Wallace (2007), in the countries where formal and informal social capital is most widespread, there is more trust among the people in some of the media. In contrast, in countries characterised by low levels of formal social capital, people place more trust in other media; for example, in Nordic and in Western-Central areas, people have a greater preference for newspapers, while in the Balkan areas people have a greater preference for television. Clearly when the social capital is more widespread, the use of the media influences people’s trust in the European Parliament.

  • Internet use, media influence, civic engagement

This analysis helps to highlight what types of media contribute to increased civic engagement and stresses the importance of widespread social capital.

Carradore-Media trust, social capital and institutional trust in Europe-220.pdf

Studying Twitter conversations as (dynamic) graphs: visualization and structural comparison

Cornelius Puschmann, Katrin Weller, Evelyn Dröge

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Our contribution investigates the potential of graph analysis and visualization for the study of Twitter communication, specifically around events such as academic conferences, political discourse and natural disasters, and provides concrete examples where Twitter conversations under a common hashtag are carried out over a prolonged period of time and with shifting communicative dynamics. Our goal is to assess the potential of graph analysis for the diachronic study of Twitter and in specific relation to retweeting and @-messaging (as opposed to simply graphing who is following whom), in order to better understand the communicative dynamics of event-related discourse and the role of individual participants in these conversations. The presentation is the result of an ongoing collaborative study undertaken by members of the Junior Researchers Group "Science and the Internet" (http://nfgwin.uni-duesseldorf.de/) together with Dr. Axel Bruns and Dr. Jean Burgess, Queensland University of Technology (http://www.mappingonlinepublics.net/)

Methods & Data:

The poster (and ideally a projector to show a dynamic graph visualization) will contain graph and subgraph visualizations of several hashtagged events on Twitter:

  • academic conferences (#mla09, #www2010)
  • political discourse (#s21)
  • natural disasters (#gldfloods)

The Twitter data was retrieved via TwapperKeeper (twapperkeeper.com), processed with R (r-project.org) and visualized with Gephi. (gephi.org) Source code and step-by-step instructions will be provided.


Our main goal is to demonstrate the potential of graph visualization for the study of event-related Twitter communication and to provide a concrete implementation that allows the onlooker to see large-scale effects in a complex diachronic interaction. In addition, the structural characteristics of the discourses over time (How do communicative dynamics differ between and academic conference and a discussion of a political event? Who are important communicators?) will also be addressed. However, the methodological aspect will be our focal point.

Added Value:

Uses of graph visualization to explore Twitter conversations are conceivable outside of academic contexts.

Further information:

The blog posts below provide a brief description of our technical approach.

Dynamic graph visualization of Twitter RTs and @s with R and Gephi


Static graph visualization of Twitter RTs and @s with R and Gephi


Puschmann-Studying Twitter conversations as-216.pdf

The Attitudes of Potential Patients Toward Internet Based Information and Intervention Supplies

Christiane Eichenberg1, Georg Blokus1, Elmar Braehler2

1University of Cologne, Germany; 2University Leipzig, Germany

Communication serves as integral part of every psychotherapeutic treatment.

Consequently, in the last decade modern information and communication

technologies in the psychotherapeutic context gained in importance. How

important are internet based therapeutic information and intervention

supplies for potential patients and how are they appraised in case of being

already known or used?

In the course of a representative study the health-related internet use

behavior of N = 2.411 Germans was examined. There was a focus on the usage

of psychosocial self-help and counseling services in the past and

(potentially) in the future. 63.5% of German Internet users search for

medical information on the Internet. Still physicians, psychologists,

pharmacists, family members and friends have a greater impact on health

behavior than the Internet. 54.1% of German Internet users are not informed

about the possibilities of psychosocial online counseling. Nevertheless they

would “maybe” use the Internet in the future. Those 2.2% who already used

Internet in case of psychosocial problems are “content” with the service.

In fact new media did not find their way into psychotherapy and counseling

as far as in our daily lives yet. Opposite to this, in the total population

dominates a general willingness to demand psychosocial online counseling in

potential future cases. Especially in the field of virtual realities there

is also high potential for developing therapy programs for the treatment of

a variety of phobic disorders.

Eichenberg-The Attitudes of Potential Patients Toward Internet Based Information and Intervention Supplies-192.pptx

Effectiveness and consequences of various recruitment methods in psychological research: case study.

Małgorzata Półtorak1,2

1Warsaw University, Poland; 2IIBR (Gemius Group), Poland

Relevance & Research Question:

Most often, psychological studies participants are recruited with help of some selected organisations (universities, hospitals etc.). Usually they are invited to the study in direct face to face contact. Online research and recruitment are rare, partly due to the questioned validity caused be perceived too big anonymity.

Direct personal recruitment enables easy verification of participants identity and tend to better engage them. Yet, due to time and money limitations, it is often restricted only to few sources of participants that lead to too high level of sample homogeneity. Moreover, the results may be affected by perceived researcher's expectations and/or social desirability effects.

For my doctoral study I decided on wider range of recruitment methods. The important questions to be addressed for the use of this and future studies were about the usefulness and validity of this approach, i.e.: (1) effectiveness in terms of gathering possibly numerous and diversified sample, (2) reliability and similarity of results for various sub-samples.

Methods & Data:

The respondents were couples expecting their first babies. They were filling in a profiling survey and psychological questionnaires (concerning their personal and relationship traits) online. They were recruited directly offline (at courses for pregnant couples and at trade fair with articles for babies) and indirectly online (mainly with the use of Market Research Access Panels, announcements on online forums and by on-site pop-up invitations). All together a few thousand people became invited.


(1) Direct personal invitations were more effective in terms that they let more precisely reach the target group and they resulted in lower drop-out. However, due to the easily achieved scale effect, still indirect online recruitment provided the majority of the final sample. It also very much helped to obtain its higher diversity. (2) The data collected thanks to direct vs intermediated invitations did not differ significantly neither in terms of reliability nor in terms of average levels of the variables measured.

Added Value:

Conclusions from the analysis may help to resolve the mistrust toward Internet research and encourage to use wider range of contact channels with participants in psychological studies.

Półtorak-Effectiveness and consequences of various recruitment methods-222.pdf

Internet source trustworthiness and its impact on political evaluations

Alberto Fuchslocher, Nicole Krämer

Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Since the beginning of political communication research, communication scholars have sought to explain voter behavior and the influence of mass media on it. According to the social psychological model applied in politics, voter behavior is determined by the long- term factor party identification and the short-term factors issue orientation and candidate image. This raises the question, to what extent can negative media coverage about candidates influence political parties evaluations. Based on Hovland and Weis (1951) research findings concerning media credibility even unreliable sources can induce attitude change towards political propaganda. The following study explores the influence of unfavorable Internet articles about candidates on their political party evaluation depending on source credibility.

Methods & Data:

The experimental design consisted in a 3 factorial mixed design with source credibility (low vs. high) and proximity to political party ideology (low vs. high) as between subject and politician revaluation as a within subject factor. 100 Participant took part in the study. After assessing the evaluation baseline of fictive candidates and political parties, participants were presented one online article from a credible and non-credible source containing different negative information (corruption vs. abstraction of public funds) regarding two political candidates. Subsequently, participant’s evaluations of candidates and political parties were assessed again.


The results show that especially the politician and political party being close to participant’s ideology were influenced by the negative information. Furthermore, source credibility had no impact on politician and political parties evaluation, neither for the ideologically close nor for the ideologically distant politicians and political parties. No difference between employed negative information on politician and political party evaluations were found.

Added value:

Negative media coverage about a politician can certainly affect politicians image and the reputation of an associated political party. Furthermore, the persuasive influence of negative information about a politician seems to depend less on source credibility but rather on the partisan concordance with political party ideology. According to these findings, the impact of Internet news on political evaluations seems to be restricted to situational factors like political party properties.

Fuchslocher-Internet source trustworthiness and its impact on political evaluations-178.pdf

Using online interviews with young people

Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari, Griffiths Mark D.

Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom

Relevance & Research Questions

The use of online methods for exploring online phenomena seems to enhance research since the method parallels the setting under investigation. The proposed roundtable will cover practical online methodological issues observed while carrying out online interviews with young and avid technology users. Different aspects will be discussed: Part 1 Recruiting and performing the interview: (i) Considerations when recruiting participants online (ii) How to establish rapport with the interviewee, and (iii) The types of questions that are useful to use in online interviews. Part 2 Reliability and ethical issues of the study: (i) How to cope with identity issues online, (ii) Particular ethical issues when using online interviews, and (iii) How to follow up and get feedback on the research.

Methods & Data

In-depth interviews were conducted on 42 frequent video game players aged between 15 and 21 years. 32 of the interviews were done through instant messaging systems, mainly MSN Messenger. Participants were recruited through video game forums and the results were published in a blog. The study examined how video game playing can influence players during the game and afterwards resulting in what the researchers have called ‘The Game Transfer Phenomena’ (GTP). GTP occurs when video games’ elements are associated with real life elements triggering thoughts, sensations and behaviors in the players.


Thematic analysis showed that many players experienced GTP, where players appeared to integrate elements of video game playing into their real lives. These GTP were then classified as either intentional or automatic experiences. Results also showed that players used video games for interacting with others as an amusement complement, modeling or mimicking video game content, and daydreaming about video games. Furthermore, some video game players have experienced intrusive thoughts, sensations, impulses, reflexes, optical illusions, and dissociations.

Added Value

An analysis of the online research methods used in the Game Transfer Phenomenon study shows the value of online interviews when exploring young peoples’ virtual experiences. The analysis also shows how to affront challenges and limitations when carrying out online interviews with young people.

Ortiz de Gortari-Using online interviews with young people-228.pdf

Sampling v. Scale: An investigation the tension between convenience sampling, response rates, probability and coverage

Philip Garland

SurveyMonkey, United States of America

Relevance & Research Question

Survey researchers have been forced—by time and budget constraints—to rely on a slew of sampling methods to estimate population parameters. To be valid, sampling procedures must a) have nearly 100% population coverage b) ensure equal chance of selection, and c) feature reasonable response rates. Convenience samples have long been considered inadequate for serious research but collecting opinions from probability samples now takes longer than conveniently interviewing millions of people.

Increasingly, RDD telephone sampling now features response rates below 20%. Moreover, the decrease in landline telephony and the corresponding rise in mobile have put pressure on the claim of near total coverage. Though all online interviewing relies on convenience sampling, it is arguable that people only answer their phones to take surveys (that are a part of RDD studies) when it is convenient for them—a group that continues to shrink.

Methods & Data

This paper investigates whether volume-based approaches to collecting opinions are reasonable substitutes for probability sampling. To do so, we exposed Gallup’s long-used, well documented, United States Presidential approval rating question to a random subset of people who recently completed a survey for one of SurveyMonkey’s seven million survey creators. We presented the question to roughly 10,000 survey takers per day from June 10, 2010 to July 29, 2010. In total, 87, 308 people answered the question.


The results track Gallup’s daily approval numbers within the reported margin of error nearly each day that the test ran without mimicking Gallup’s use of statistical weighting. A closer look reveals that coverage and response rate were respectable relative to those of probability studies. Specifically, respondents were from 8,300 of 19,000 American cities (43%) which approaches the proportion of U.S. households with a landline telephone (60%). Moreover, the respondents yielded an average daily response rate of 46%--more than double that of a typical telephone survey.

Added Value

These findings shed light on recent interest by market researchers in gathering data from technology and social networking sources that have access to extremely large and diverse pools of people and can ask questions of them for virtually no cost.

Garland-Sampling v Scale-219.pptx

Educational Beliefs - wordfield and relations to social software

Timo van Treeck

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Connections between teaching orientations and quality of student learning are an often claimed thesis (Kember and Gow 1994). But there are many problems regarding this research:

a) the construct of teaching orientations can be found in a vast word-field of concepts regarding matters of teaching, which are often not well differentiated from each other e.g teaching beliefs / teaching conceptions / teaching approaches (Pajares 1992, Lübeck 2010),

b) some concepts are under complex, as they only differ between teacher-centered and student-centered teaching,

c) research in Germany only focus on one of these concepts: teaching approaches.

Thesis of the here discussed research in progress is that not only quality of learning is influenced by educational beliefs but also the implementation of innovative learning-concepts, especially the use of social software. Regarding the latter it seems obvious that at least some aspects of student-centered-teaching (Barr and Tagg 1995) and principles of social-software do correlate with each other.

Therefore it is planned to answer the following questions:

a) What are elements of teaching beliefs of German academic teachers? How are these elements connected?

b) How are educational beliefs formed?

c) What are relations between beliefs and the use of innovative teaching concepts, e.g. social software?

Methods & Data:

The work examines educational beliefs of teachers and decision makers at universities. Based on problem-based interviews, typologies shall be developed and the mentioned research questions answered. In a first step the word field regarding educational beliefs has to be outlined.


Educational Beliefs do compete with other terms describing some kind of espoused theory of teaching. The relation between these theories and the learning-process of the students is often complicated and not well differentiated. This field of terms will be displayed as well as possible relations between the use of innovative-teaching/social-software and educational beliefs.

Added Value:

The shift from teaching to learning is one central paradigm of modern higher education teaching. Data on belief-systems should be helpful to support this shift in workshops. Discovering relations between the use of innovative teaching concepts and belief systems may support enhancement of education.

The influence of the direction of Likert-type scales in web surveys on response behavior in different respondent groups

Florian Keusch

WU Wien, Austria

(a) Relevance & Research Question:

Attitude measurement in web surveys mostly relies on requiring respondents to indicate their agreement or disagreement with each of several items under the same Likert-type scale in a grid format. As it is known that respondents do not only attend to the words that convey the questions but also to the visual language of a questionnaire (i.e., format and shape of response scales, verbal and numerical labels, spacing, positioning, and order of response options) it is essential to understand how this effects the response process. Although there is no conclusive evidence about the influence of the direction of extreme point labelling (e.g., Belson, 1966; Friedman et al., 1993; Salzberger & Koller, 2010; Weng & Cheng, 2000), applying the “near means related” heuristic (Tourangeau et al., 2004; 2007) to horizontal Likert-type scales would suggest that the proximity between the item and the positive anchor of the scale in a agree-to-disagree format would lead to different results than a reversed scale (disagree-to-agree).

(b) Methods & Data:

In three independent web surveys with online panel members, students, and professionals respondents were assigned to one of four treatment groups. The direction of Likert-type scales as well as the use of numerical labelling of scale points was experimentally varied in a full-factorial 2 (agree-to-disagree vs. disagree-to-agree) x 2 (with numerical labels vs. without numerical labels) design. The influence of scale presentation was measured on different indicators of data quality (response latency, item omission, non-differentiation in grids, response sets).

(c) Results:

The first results show that especially online panel members are very prone to changes in the direction of Likert-type scales as they show a strong tendency to the left-hand side of the scale regardless of its actual direction.

(d) Added Value:

This study aims to bring forward how the direction of Likert-type scales in grid formats influences the response behavior of respondents from various background and with different levels of experience with web surveys.

Keusch-The influence of the direction of Likert-type scales-155.pdf
12:30pm - 1:45pmLunch Break
1:45pm - 2:45pmA7: Instruments and User Profiles
Session Chair: Olaf Wenzel

VisAWI - Assessing visual aesthetics of websites

Meinald T. Thielsch1, Morten Moshagen2

1University of Münster, Germany; 2University of Mannheim and University of Duesseldorf, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Web sites are an essential part of marketing and communication for most enterprises and institutions. Evaluation of web user experience is mainly focused on usability, however, visual aesthetics has been shown to critically affect not only usability but also a variety of constructs such as satisfaction, pleasure, urge to buy impulsively, preference, customer loyalty, and intention to revisit. Given the importance of visual aesthetics, it is vital that it is adequately assessed. Our research aimed at providing a precise operational definition and at developing a new measure of perceived visual aesthetics of websites.

Methods & Data:

In a first series of four studies with a total of 1574 participants we defined the domain, generated and tested a first set of items, and refined the scales using explanatory and confirmatory factor analysis. The emerged scales were validated in a second series of three studies with a total of 965 participants.


Four interrelated facets of perceived visual aesthetics of websites were identified and validated: (a) Simplicity and (b) Diversity, which have both been repeatedly treated as important parameters of aesthetic objects throughout the history of empirical aesthetics, (c) Colorfulness, which has been shown to be a very powerful aspect of perceived web aesthetics, and (d) Craftsmanship, which addresses the skillful and coherent integration of the relevant design dimensions. These four subscales contained in the VisAWI demonstrate good internal consistencies (.85 ≤ α ≤ .89). Furthermore, evidence for the convergent (.60 ≤ r ≤ .82), divergent, discriminative, and concurrent validity (.40 ≤ r ≤ .51) of the VisAWI is provided.

Added Value:

Our research aimed at meeting the apparent need for a well-designed and carefully validated assessment instrument. The final version of the VisAWI - comprising 18 items and four scales - is a relatively brief but sound measure of visual aesthetics of websites. The VisAWI is of theoretical and practical benefit not only for online and market researcher but also for practitioners designing web user experience.

Thielsch-VisAWI - Assessing visual aesthetics of websites-118.pdf

The acceptation of the online self-assessment tool CPSM by principals

Stephan Gerhard Huber, Esther Kaufmann, Marius Schwander

University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland Zug, Switzerland

Relevance & Research Question:

The professional demands on principals have changed drastically and have become highly complex. Hence, the online self-assessment tool Competence Profile School Management (CPSM) offers principals the possibility to reflect their strengths and weaknesses in different requirement areas of principals; and to compare their individual results with peers from the school context, thus gaining valuable information on their individual profiles when planning their professional development and careers. Hence, the scope of our paper is the research question: how well is the online self-assessment CPSM accepted by his users?

Methods & Data:

To check the acceptation of the CPSM an online survey for anonymous feedback was sent to CPSM participants to evaluate it. After 492 participants from five different regions in Germany (96%) and Switzerland (4%) completed the self-assessment in 2009 they got an invitation for this online survey. The survey focused on the participants’ experiences, the information of the self-assessment they had received beforehand, the administration, the results and their usefulness, and further professional perspectives and development planning.


310 participants answered, which had led to a satisfying response rate of 63% (see Welker, 2001). After a drop-out analysis of our survey data no systematic drop-out due to the survey questions was revealed (Knapp & Heidingsfelder, 2001). The result of our evaluation shows great acceptance and wide usefulness of the tool. Most participants (87%, N = 260) rated that their expectations on the tool were met or exceeded. The vast majority of the participants state that the tool is useful (76.4%, N = 227) or generally positive (94.7%, N = 283) or interesting (87%, N = 261). Hence, it is not surprising that most participants would recommend the CPSM self-assessment to colleagues (91%, N = 273). Beyond quantitative data we present also qualitative data related to the evaluation on the CPSM.

Added Value: This online evaluation of the online self-assessment CPSM leads to the conclusion that the CPSM self-assessment is a fruitful tool for principals which is highly needed. Moreover, our presentation will show an example of how we can use the internet for online self-assessments.

Methodological innovations in the identification and modeling of Internet user profiles

Volker Lang, Steffen Hillmert, Meike Han

University of Tübingen, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Differences in Internet user profiles gain importance as inequalities in Internet access lose importance due to the widespread diffusion of the Internet. Prominent theories on the “digital divide” differentiate between Internet access, Internet-related competencies and attitudes as well as efficiency with regard to outcomes. They assume that inequalities on each of the levels are constituted by multidimensional relationships between these aspects. However, empirical research has so far not matched the specifications and the variety of indicators proposed by the theories; rather, it has compounded modes and attitudes. Empirical progress aiming at a profound understanding of the interrelations between these dimensions therefore depends on the availability of more detailed data. We offer a sophisticated operationalization tracing out latent user profiles which constitute these inequalities.

Methods & Data:

Our project is part of the interdisciplinary research cluster “ScienceCampus Tübingen” which focuses on interrelations between education, informational environments and digital media use. We are currently collecting a dataset of unique scope on Internet user profiles among university students, differentiating between Internet-related competencies and attitudes as well as modes of Internet use and domain-specific outcomes. Building on the ideas of Item Response Theory we use latent variable modeling techniques in order to trace out communalities and factors differentiating between the levels and dimensions of the digital divide. Thus we are not only able to identify qualitative differences between Internet users but also to reconstruct the underlying latent user profiles.


Analytical models are currently being set up. The ongoing process of data collection and preparation will be finished by the end of 2010. Results building on the research design lined out above are expected by March 2011.

Added value:

Our work closes a significant gap in the research on digital inequalities. By using unique data covering practically all theoretically important aspects of Internet use and by implementing the concept of Internet user profiles we address several shortcomings of the conventional forms of operationalizing the digital divide. Our results as well as our data can thus be expected to be of major relevance to the research community in this field.

Lang-Methodological innovations in the identification and modeling-194.pdf
1:45pm - 2:45pmB4: New Challenges in Applied Research
Session Chair: Lars Kaczmirek

Using mobile phone data for statistics

van, Merijn Pelt, Edwin Jonge. de, Roos Marko

Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), Netherlands, The

Relevance & Research Question:

(Keywords: mobile phones, geospatial activity, movement, tessellation, signatures)

In this research we aim to gain insight on the geospatial activity of mobile phone users. We explore the possibility of using this data for statistics on day-time population density and the mobility within certain areas. Another aim of this research is exploring the relation between (the signature of) call activity and economic properties of an area. A derived research question is deducing a method to obtain a tessellation of cell serving areas from a cell plan and combining different tessellations.

Methods & Data:

(Keywords: call-events, location, cell plan tessellation)

For our research we obtained a dataset from a telecommunication company containing records of all call-events on their network in the Netherlands for a time period of two weeks. Each record contains information about the time and serving antenna of a call-event and an identification key of the phone. The dataset contains around 600 million records which introduced difficulties in the (pre)processing.

Also a cell plan containing information on the geo-locations of 20.000 antennas was provided. We devised a method to transform this cell plan into an appropriate tessellation needed for geospatial analysis. We experimented with different data normalisations to detect deviating day patterns.


(Keywords: animation, population density, Voronoi, clustering)

We produced a geospatial animation from which it is clearly visible that high call intensity coincides with high population density. We used the Voronoi algorithm to create tessellations from the cell plans and applied rastering methods to combine them. We were able to locate anomalies by deviations from the “normal” call activities. By analysing the call activity signatures of the cells through time we found indications for possible clustering relating, for instance, to the economic properties of that area. From the dataset and research we obtained insights in the movement of mobile phones.

Added Value:

(Keywords: whereabouts, movement, mobile phones, clustering, classification)

With this dataset we were able to obtain detailed information on call density and movement of mobile phones. Clustering areas based on the signature of call-activity is a novel way to classify areas economically.

Pelt-Using mobile phone data for statistics-120.ppt

Improved cost-effectiveness in mobile surveys using HLR-Lookup

Bella Struminskaya, Ines Schaurer, Wolfgang Bandilla, Siegfried Gabler, Sabine Häder, Lars Kaczmirek

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: The growing mobile-only population is a concern for telephone survey research as a possible cause of non-coverage error. Though the dual sample frame approach includes mobile numbers (e.g., the probability sampling method by Gabler and Häder), that option raises survey expenses. Another problem may arise when mobile phone numbers and landline numbers are treated equally in response rate calculation. Due to the difficulties in identifying the non-existent numbers by means of standard interviewer contact, proportions of non-existent numbers may be biased causing inaccurate estimation of the response rates. One of the reasons is that German mobile operators differ in reporting the status of a number being reached. The study illustrates an application of using a service available in the GSM-network (HLR-Lookup), which may allow a precise classification of numbers as non-eligible instead of numbers with unknown eligibility along with reducing the survey costs.

Methods & Data: 30000 mobile phone numbers were fielded as part of a telephone survey. The outcome of the contact attempts such as successful contacts, non-contacts, as well as reasons for non-contacts are compared with the results of the HLR-Lookup service which allows a real-time network query of a mobile subscriber’s status (active, absent, unknown, roaming, etc.).

Results: Preliminary results of the numbers‘ check allow to sort out about 43,5% of numbers as being non-eligible. Further analysis will classify and match the outcomes of the survey and the HLR-lookup into eligible, non-eligible and of unknown eligibility more precisely. Most importantly, the results will show the accuracy and efficiency of the HLR-lookup compared to a telephone survey which made call-attempts to all numbers.

Added Value: HLR-lookup promises substantial lower costs for samples with non-valid numbers. Especially in cases when interviewers have to make all call attempts manually and an automated dialer is unavailable due to legal or technical reasons. For survey quality the technology could help to achieve higher accuracy in response rate calculation.

Struminskaya-Improved cost-effectiveness in mobile surveys using HLR-Lookup-173.pdf

Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

Gunnar Harde

intanges interviewtechnik gunnar harde, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Classical questionnaires support a systematic questioning process and can be efficiently and automatically analyzed, while qualitative surveys allow an exploration of individual insights. This abstract outlines the Intanges Method, which combines the strengths of both approaches: in contrast to qualitative surveys, the researcher interrogates up to several thousand participants and receives the results of multivariate statistics. At the same time, in contrast to quantitative questionnaires, the researcher gains an insight into the participants’ individual rating criteria.

Methods & Data:

The Intanges Method is based on the Repertory-Grid-Technique. The researcher selects the elements (e.g., brands or products) which constitute the survey subject. Via an online-interview-platform, the participant decides if two of these elements are rather similar or different. If the elements are similar, the participant defines the similarity and its opposite; otherwise, she defines the difference. Then she rates the remaining elements due to this construct. The participant performs this process several times. Finally, she has built up her own multi-dimensional space, in which she has positioned each element. In this way the interview platform collects constructs and element positions of every participant.


The Intanges-Analysis-Software generates multi-grid-plots; i.e., graphics which show the relevant factors and their associated attributes stated by the participants. Multi-grid-plots display the condensed psychological cosmos of all participants. Tag clouds for each element are also generated, containing the important and significant attributes associated with the element. Furthermore, the participants are clustered according to their ratings. In combination with additional socio-demographic data, the researcher can perform socio-demographic segmentation. The researcher examines these results with the intanges software iPlotX.

Added Value:

Instead of making assumptions about the mindset of the participants, the researcher exploits the mindset of each participant individually without bias. Qualitative statements are generated, which enable the researcher to perform a lively presentation of the results. Completed cases have shown that this hybrid approach of multivariate analysis and participant-defined constructs supplies both, statistically significant results and the psychological and linguistic framework of the participants.

Harde-Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches-148.pptx
1:45pm - 2:45pmC7: Money or Love - Trust and Attractiveness in Social Media
Session Chair: Martin Welker

Information acquisition and trustworthiness on auction sites: Combining conjoint analysis and process tracing.

Marcin Bober, Chris Snijders, Martijn Willemsen, Uwe Matzat

Eindhoven University of Technology

Relevance & Research Question: We combine conjoint-analysis and process tracing to analyze how buyers on auction sites process information about the trustworthiness of sellers. Earlier research indicates that semantic feedback from previous customers strongly affects the purchasing decision of new buyers and that it is possible for sellers to counteract the effect of other buyers' negative feedback by choosing appropriate reply strategies (Bober, Snijders, & Matzat, 2010). This study makes a further step in explaining how people deal with trustworthiness online, with an emphasis on the interplay between qualitative and quantitative feedback.

Methods & Data: We combined conjoint-analysis and process tracing in an experimental setup. Using a mockup website which simulates an online auction site such as eBay we asked 300 participants to rank the attractiveness of different online offers. A typical offer consists of a product’s photo and price, reputation score of the seller, type of previous trust violation (a negative comment), and the type of seller's reaction (reply on a comment). This approach, characteristic for conjoint analysis, was combined with a process tracing method based on mouse tracking (elements were blurred when the mouse was not over them). This allows us to precisely track the information acquisition process, and analyze which components of the feedback are considered when ranking the offers.

Results: The data show the following: (1) the process tracing data show that the basic assumption of conjoint analysis – that all elements of an offer are given a certain weight – is not met, which leads to estimates of the effectiveness of the different characteristics of an offer, (2) the size of the effect of semantic feedback on the attractiveness of an offer is at least in the same order of magnitude as the effect of reputation scores.

Added Value: To our knowledge this is the first study that harnesses the process tracing methodology to explain perceptions of trustworthiness on the auction sites. Using this method we can build a better, more realistic model of trust. In addition, it augments standard conjoint methods by (appropriately) disregarding the characteristics of offers that respondents have not even considered.

All the Single Ladies – Relationship Status and its Relation to Self-Presentation on Social Networking Sites

Stephan Winter1, Nina Haferkamp2, Yvonne Stock1, Nicole C. Krämer1

1University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany; 2University of Muenster, Germany

Relevance and Research Question:

Online profiles on social networking sites offer various opportunities for communicating personal information and therefore provide an ideal setting for an elaborated impression management – which can be particularly useful to attract potential partners. Considering the social psychological concept of the “need to belong” (Baumeister & Leary, 1995), it can be assumed that users who are searching for a relationship make use of certain self-presentation strategies, for example by creating a more detailed profile and placing high priority on the display of a large network of social bonds. The present study investigated whether a person’s relationship status presented on his/her online profile is related to impression management on the German Web 2.0 site StudiVZ.

Methods & Data:

We randomly selected 100 online profiles of StudiVZ users (25 profiles for each relationship status: “single”, “in a relationship”, “engaged/married”, and “not specified”). In a detailed content analysis, we assessed the numbers of friends, photographs that are linked to the profile owner, wall postings and groups as well as the length of the profile texts. Furthermore, we used qualitative categories focusing on the type of group a person can join.


The analysis showed that singles disclosed more photographs of themselves on their profiles than people in relationships. They also displayed more groups on their profile and were more likely to join user groups in the categories “parties”, “sexual statements”, “personal details” and “fun and nonsense”. This suggests that people who are likely to search for a relationship are willing to disclose more private information and tend to present more sexual hints. Gender and age did not influence the detail level of the profile and the display of social bonds.

Added value:

The results indicate that – although social networking sites are not especially dedicated to dating behavior – self-presentation is nevertheless affected by the potential to form romantic relationships. Therefore, users’ relationship status should be considered as a further factor which affects online impression management on social networking sites.

Winter-All the Single Ladies – Relationship Status and its Relation-142.pdf
2:45pm - 3:15pmBreak
3:15pm - 4:15pmPanel Discussion: From Hype to Game Changer - Does Social Media turn the Research World upside-down?
Session Chair: Holger Geißler

Panel Discussion: From Hype to Game Changer - Does Social Media turn the Research World upside-down?

Holger Geißler, Matthias Fank, Wolfgang G. Gibowski, Steffen Hück, Christoph Stratmann, George Terhanian


Is this the beginning of the end of the market research as we know it?

More and more people refuse to participate in surveys – even in online surveys. Response rates in market research in western countries decreased strongly in the last twenty years. On the other hand, several studies point out, that worldwide online consumers spending more time on social networking sites such as Facebook than on email – and share information via the web that is much more intimate and confidential than survey data will ever be.

Methodological research tools like Co-Creation or ethnography appear to be next hip thing in market research – but does they have the potential to be more as a “Hip Thing”? How does data picked-up in Social Networks refer to the real world? How about representiveness and interpolation of findings that are based on information collected in the Social Web?

Members of the Panel:

• Prof. Dr. Matthias Fank, Infospeed, FH Köln

• Wolfgang G. Gibowski

• Steffen Hück, Project Manager Innovation Research, Hyve

• Christoph Stratmann, Research Consultant, Gfk Marktforschung

• George Terhanian, President, North America und Group Chief Strategy Officer, Toluna

4:15pm - 4:45pmO: Poster Award Ceremony, Outlook on the Next Conference, Farewell

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