Are Fast Responses More Random? Testing the Effect of Response Time on Scale in an Online Choice Experiment

Borger, T. 2015 Are Fast Responses More Random? Testing the Effect of Response Time on Scale in an Online Choice Experiment. Environmental and Resource Economics. DOI 10.1007/s10640-015-9905-1

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Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10640-01...

Abstract/Summary

Scepticism over stated preference surveys conducted online revolves around the concerns over “professional respondents” who might rush through the questionnaire without sufficiently considering the information provided. To gain insight on the validity of this phenomenon and test the effect of response time on choice randomness, this study makes use of a recently conducted choice experiment survey on ecological and amenity effects of an offshore windfarm in the UK. The positive relationship between self-rated and inferred attribute attendance and response time is taken as evidence for a link between response time and cognitive effort. Subsequently, the generalised multinomial logit model is employed to test the effect of response time on scale, which indicates the weight of the deterministic relative to the error component in the random utility model. Results show that longer response time increases scale, i.e. decreases choice randomness. This positive scale effect of response time is further found to be non-linear and wear off at some point beyond which extreme response time decreases scale. While response time does not systematically affect welfare estimates, higher response time increases the precision of such estimates. These effects persist when self-reported choice certainty is controlled for. Implications of the results for online stated preference surveys and further research are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Attribute non-attendance, Choice experiment, Generalised multinomial logit, Offshore windfarm, Online survey, Response time, Scale heterogeneity
Subjects: Data and Information
Economics
Social Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea and Society
Depositing User: Tobias Borger
Date made live: 21 Apr 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:13
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6357

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