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Investigator Characteristics and Respondent Behavior in Online Surveys

  • Ariel White (a1), Anton Strezhnev (a2), Christopher Lucas (a2), Dominika Kruszewska (a2) and Connor Huff (a2)...
Abstract

Prior research demonstrates that responses to surveys can vary depending on the race, gender, or ethnicity of the investigator asking the question. We build upon this research by empirically testing how information about researcher identity in online surveys affects subject responses. We do so by conducting an experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in which we vary the name of the researcher in the advertisement for the experiment and on the informed consent page in order to cue different racial and gender identities. We fail to reject the null hypothesis that there is no difference in how respondents answer questions when assigned to a putatively black/white or male/female researcher.

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