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New article by Funke & Reips shows how to improve measurement with questionnaires

In their article “Why semantic differentials in Web-based research should be made from visual analogue scales and not from 5-point scales” that is to appear in the journal Field Methods next week Funke and Reips show how the response options given to the respondents influences the way they understand what to do with the question. A small number of response options implicitly conveys the message that roughly estimated answers are sufficient, whereas a large number of response options can be understood as an instruction to maximize cognitive efforts and provide an exact answer.
To test this hypothesis, Funke and Reips compared two versions of semantic differentials, the prime method for assessing multiple aspects of one psychological construct on a single (web) page. One version was made up from Visual Analogue Scales, the other one from 5-point scales, see Figure.
Rating Scales
Respondents adjusted their ratings with Visual Analogue Scales more often to maximize the precision of answers, which had a beneficial effect on data quality. No side effects like differences in means, higher dropout, more nonresponse, or higher response times were observed.
The current paper continues a series of articles by the authors investigating measurement in online data collection, particularly the use of visual analogue scales. See for example

Mangan & Reips 2007 paper featured in El Correo

The Spanish daily El Correo published an article that refers to collaborative research with Dr. Mangan from the University of New Hampshire. In the paper (available from our site) Dr. Mangan and Dr. Reips show how Web surveys can reach members of rare populations and how beneficial Internet-based research can be particularly in interviewing people on sensitive topics. With their research they reached five times as many participants as were reached in all previous studies combined (from >20 years of research). The researched population were those directly or indirectly suffering from sexsomnia – for explanation see Website by Dr. Mangan.

New issue of International Journal of Internet Science

The International Journal of Internet Science has appeared in its sixth issue. In his editorial, Ulf-Dietrich Reips announces estimates for the journal’s 2011 impact: >2.50 (>1.13 based on citations in ISI listed journals only).

Ulf-Dietrich Reips elected to the Steering Committee of the Society for Computers in Psychology

In recent elections held by the members of the Society for Computers in Psychology (SCiP) Prof. Dr. Ulf-Dietrich Reips was voted to become a member of the Steering Committee for a 3-year period 2011-2014.