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Personalization, authentication and self-disclosure in self-administered Internet surveys


Joinson, A; Woodley, A; Reips, U D (2007). Personalization, authentication and self-disclosure in self-administered Internet surveys. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(1):275-285.

Abstract

Two studies are presented that examine disclosure of sensitive information and personalization
in Internet-based surveys. In the first study, the impact of a personalized salutation on
two forms of non-disclosure to a sensitive personal question (salary level) is tested. The results
revealed that a personalized salutation tends to increase levels of active non-disclosure (measured
through use of an I prefer not to answer option), but not passive non-disclosure (where
the respondent selects no option). In the second study, participants are directed to the study
via either a personalized URL (which incorporated an encoded identifier not obvious as such
to the responder) or via a secure log-on page that required the user to type in identifying information.
Non-disclosure to a sensitive question (salary) was significantly higher when participants
went through a log-on procedure. We suggest that this pattern of non-disclosure to
sensitive questions reflects increases in identifiability when a personalized salutation or logon
procedure is used. We further suggest that the provision of an active non-disclosure option
to a sensitive question is particularly appropriate in contexts in which anonymity may be compromised,
since it enables participants to both protect their privacy and respond appropriately
to the survey.

Abstract

Two studies are presented that examine disclosure of sensitive information and personalization
in Internet-based surveys. In the first study, the impact of a personalized salutation on
two forms of non-disclosure to a sensitive personal question (salary level) is tested. The results
revealed that a personalized salutation tends to increase levels of active non-disclosure (measured
through use of an I prefer not to answer option), but not passive non-disclosure (where
the respondent selects no option). In the second study, participants are directed to the study
via either a personalized URL (which incorporated an encoded identifier not obvious as such
to the responder) or via a secure log-on page that required the user to type in identifying information.
Non-disclosure to a sensitive question (salary) was significantly higher when participants
went through a log-on procedure. We suggest that this pattern of non-disclosure to
sensitive questions reflects increases in identifiability when a personalized salutation or logon
procedure is used. We further suggest that the provision of an active non-disclosure option
to a sensitive question is particularly appropriate in contexts in which anonymity may be compromised,
since it enables participants to both protect their privacy and respond appropriately
to the survey.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:20 Jul 2009 07:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:17
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0747-5632
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2004.10.012

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