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Maintaining Respondent Trust and Protecting Their Data


One factor that influences respondent willingness to participate in surveys is the perception that both individually identifying information and the substance of their responses to the survey will be protected. Respondent concerns about the privacy and security of their data can be a barrier to participation, particularly if researchers are unable to assure them that their responses will be kept confidential. Another issue for researchers is the risk of social desirability bias for some questions. This chapter outlines these concerns and risks and suggests best practices for how to handle confidentiality and anonymity in the survey context.


  • Respondent Willingness
  • Randomized Response Technique (RRT)
  • Item Count Technique (ICT)
  • Sensitive Questions
  • Bogus Pipeline

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References and further reading

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Correspondence to Roger Tourangeau .

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Tourangeau, R. (2018). Maintaining Respondent Trust and Protecting Their Data. In: Vannette, D., Krosnick, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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