Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 74–81 | Cite as

Do source and anonymity affect mail survey results?

  • Gerald Albaum


This study examines the effects of the methodological characteristics of research source and anonymity of response upon mail survey response behavior. Unique features of the study were that the survey sponsor was identified, and the population sampled was one that should have a certain amount of commitment to both the sponsor and the topic because of membership in the sponsoring organization.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albaum, G., J. Hanson, and D. Tull. 1982. “The Effect of Questionnaire Format and Coding on Responses From Commercial Population Mail Surveys.” Paper presented at the National Meetings of American Institute for Decision Sciences.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, C. T. 1982. “Perspectives on Mail Survey Response Rates.” Paper presented at the American Marketing Association Conference on Marketing Theory.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, H. S. 1960. “Notes on the Concept of Commitment”.American Journal of Sociology 66 (July) 32–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blumberg, H., C. Fuller, and A. P. Hare. 1974. “Response Rates in Postal Surveys”.Public Opinion Ouarterly 38 (Spring) 113–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler, R. 1973. “Effects of Signed and Unsigned Questionnaires for Both Sensitive and Nonsensitive Items”.Journal of Applied Psychology 57 348–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Childers, T. L., and S. J. Skinner. 1985. “Theoretical and Empirical Issues in the Identification of Survey Respondents”.Journal of Marketing Research Society 27 (January) 39–53.Google Scholar
  7. Dillman, D. 1978Mail and Teleohone Surveys: The Total Design Method. New York: Wiley-Interscience.Google Scholar
  8. Doob, A., J. Freedman, and J. Carlsmith. 1973. “Effects of Sponsor and Prepayment on Compliance with a Mailed Request”.Journal of Applied Psychologyv 57 346–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Downs, P. E., and J. R. Kerr. 1986. “Recent Evidence on the Relationship Between Anonymity and Response Variables for Mail Surveys”.Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 14 (Spring) 72–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duncan, W. 1979. “Mail Questionnaires in Survey Research: A Review of Response Inducement Techniques”.Journal of Management 5, 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Erdos, P. and J. Regier. 1977. “Visible vs. Disguised Keying on Questionnaires”.Journal of Advertising Research 17 13–18.Google Scholar
  12. Furse, D. H., and D. W. Stewart 1984. “Manipulating Dissonance to Improve Mail Survey Response”.Psychology and Marketing 1 (Summer) 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Futrell, C. 1981. “Effects of Signed Versus Unsigned Attitude Questionnaires.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 9 (Spring) 93–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Futrell, C., and J. Swan. 1977. “Anonymity and Response by Salespeople to a Mail Questionnaire”.Journal of Marketing Research 14 (November) 611–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Futrell, C., D. Stem, Jr, and B. Fortune. 1978. “Effects of Signed Versus Unsigned Internally Administered Questionnaires for Managers”.Journal of Business Research 6 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hackler, J. and P. Bourgette. 1973. “Dollars, Dissonance and Survey Returns.”Public Opinion Quarterly 37 (Summer) 276–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hawkins, D. I. 1979. “The Impact of Sponsor Identification and Direct Disclosure of Respondents Rights on the Quantity and Quality of Mail Survey Data”.Journal of Business 52 577–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heberlein, T. A. and R. Baumgartner. 1978. “Factors Affecting Response Rates to Mailed Questionnaires: A Quantitative Analysis of the Published Literature.”American Sociological Review 43 (August) 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hise, R. T. and M. A. McGinnis. 1976. “Evaluating the Effects of Anonymous Respondents on Mail Survey Results.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 4 (Summer) 592–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hornback, R. 1971. “Toward a Theory of Involvement Propensity for Collective Behavior.”Sociological Forces 4 (Summer) 61–77.Google Scholar
  21. Houston, M. and N. Ford. 1976. “Broadening the Scope of Methodological Research on Mail Surveys.”Journal of Marketing Research 13 (November) 397–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Houston, M. and R. Jefferson. 1975. “The Negative Effects of Personalization on Response Patterns in Mail Surveys.”Journal of Marketing Research 12 (February) 114–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Houston, M. and J. Nevin. 1977. “The Effects of Source and Appeal on Mail Survey Response Patterns.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (August) 374–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jones, W. and J. Lang. 1980. “Sample Composition Bias and Response Bias in a Mail Survey: A Comparison of Inducement Methods.”Journal of Marketing Research 17 (February) 69–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones, W. and G. Linda. 1978. “Multiple Criteria Effects in a Mail Survey Experiment.”Journal of Marketing Research 15 (May) 280–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kanuk, L. and C. Berenson. 1975. “Mail Surveys and Response Rates: A Literature Review.”Journal of Marketing Research 12 (November) 440–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Linsky, A. S. 1975. “Stimulating Responses to Mailed Questionnaires: A Review.”Public Opinion Quarterly 39 (Spring) 82–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mason, W., R. Dressel and R. Bain. 1961. “An Experimental Study of Factors Affecting Response to a Mail Survey of Beginning Teachers.”Public Opinion Quarterly 25 296–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McDaniel, S. W. and C. P. Rao. 1980. “The Effects of Anonymity on Respondent Effort in Mailed Questionnaire Surveys.” Paper presented at the annual conference of the Academy of Marketing Science.Google Scholar
  30. Nitecki, D. 1975. “Effects of Sponsorship and Nonmonetary Incentive on Response Rate.”Journalism Quarterly 55 581–583.Google Scholar
  31. O’Connor, P. J., G. Sullivan and W. Jones. 1981. “An Evaluation of the Characteristics of Response Quality Induced by Follow-up Survey Methods.” Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Association for Consumer Research.Google Scholar
  32. Peterson, R. A. 1975. “An Experimental Investigation of Mail Survey Responses.”Journal of Business Research 3 (July) 199–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Peterson, R. A. and R. Kerin. 1981. “The Quality of Self-Report Data: Review and Synthesis.”Annual Review of Marketing, B. Enis and K. Roering, (eds.), Chicago: American Marketing Association 5–20.Google Scholar
  34. Scott, C. 1961. “Research on Mail Surveys.”Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 124 143–205.Google Scholar
  35. Tybout, A. and R. Yalch. 1980. “The Effect of Experiences as a Matter of Salience?”Journal of Consumer Research 6 (March) 406–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wildman, R. C. 1977. “Effects of Anonymity and Social Setting on Survey Responses.”Public Opinion Quarterly 41 (Spring) 74–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yu, J. and H. Cooper. 1983. “A Quantitative Review of Research Design Effects on Response Rates to Questionnaires.”Journal of Marketing Research 20 (February) 36–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zaichkowsky, J. L. 1985. “Measuring the Involvement Construct.”Journal of Consumer Research 12 (December) 341–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Albaum
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OregonUSA

Personalised recommendations