Research in Higher Education

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 127–152 | Cite as

Non-response in student surveys: The Role of Demographics, Engagement and Personality

  • Stephen R. Porter
  • Michael E. WhitcombEmail author


What causes a student to participate in a survey? This paper looks at participation across multiple surveys to understand survey non-response; by using multiple surveys we minimize the impact of survey salience. Students at a selective liberal arts college were administered four different surveys throughout the 2002–2003 academic year, and we use the number of surveys participated in to understand how student characteristics such as demographics, engagement and Holland personality type affect cooperation. We find that survey respondents are more likely to be female and socially engaged, less likely to be on financial aid, more likely to be an investigative personality type and less likely to be an enterprising personality type.


survey non-response student engagement Holland personality type survey methodology ordered logit 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wesleyan UniversityMiddletown
  2. 2.Office of Institutional ResearchWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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