The recent shift from telephone surveys to web-based polls to gauge public opinion could be producing unreliable research results, academics warned today.
The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, warned that this variation means that online surveys may not be useful in discerning changes to attitudes over time.
"We found that speaking and typing use different cognitive and motor systems, and activate distinct perceptual mechanisms that result in the encoding of distinct memory traces," wrote Nader T. Tavassoli from the London Business School and Gavan Fitzsimons from Duke University.
"In other words, speaking an attitude activates a different representation in the consumer's mind than typing an attitude. As a function of this, it changes attitudes and behaviours expressed later."
- Spoken and Typed Expressions of Repeated Attitudes: Matching Response Modes Leads to Attitude Retrieval Versus Construction (PDF)
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