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Legal restrictions on the use of cellphones while driving, as well as concerns about safety, also have raised the issue of whether people should be responding to surveys on their cellphones while driving.
In addition, people often talk on their cellphones in more open places where they may have less privacy; this may affect how they respond to survey questions, especially those that cover more sensitive topics.
Survey researchers employ a variety of techniques in the collection of survey data.
People can be contacted and surveyed using several different modes: by an interviewer in-person or on the telephone (either a landline or cellphone), via the internet or by paper questionnaires (delivered in person or in the mail).
Web surveys have a number of advantages over other modes of interview.
They are convenient for respondents to take on their own time and at their own pace.
Lastly, the quality of connection may influence whether an interview can be completed at that time, and interruptions may be more common on cellphones.
Response rates are typically lower for cellphone surveys than for landline surveys.
In terms of data quality, some researchers have suggested that respondents may be more distracted during a cellphone interview, but our research has not found substantive differences in the quality of responses between landline and cellphone interviews.
Most cellphones also have caller identification or other screening devices that allow people to see the number that is calling before deciding to answer.
People also differ considerably in how they use their cellphones (e.g., whether they are turned on all the time or used only during work hours or for emergencies).