3 Responses

  1. Annie Pettit, Chief Research Officer, Peanut Labs

    Anytime a new employee joins our team, I always recommend that they join several panels. I tell them to be honest about all of their answers so as not to interfere with the data. However, I also tell them to be completely aware of just how bad the experience is. Yes, I specifically tell them our industry does a terrible job. But the point is that every single one of us has the responsibility to do our job as best as we possibly can and this is still the result. We aren’t doing our jobs good enough yet. So today, please, put up a bit more fight against grids or against long surveys and see if you can’t make the survey world just a little bit better. You can make a difference.

  2. Wander Meijer
    Wander Meijer at |

    Excellent piece of participation research resulting in a disturbing post. Especially in the sense that everyone in MR knows this is happening, at is was surveyed in 2009 and chronicled again in 2012 in the Greenbook: http://www.greenbookblog.org/2012/01/30/more-dirty-little-secrets-of-online-panel-research-2/.
    This article confirms that nothing has changed: about all panel companies abuse their respondents and “Would normal, sane human beings put up with this?”. The answer obviously is no. Which bags the question: who fills in the millions of questionnaires? Dave is gracious not to name any panel company, but it would be good actually if he did and asked the companies to comment officially.

  3. Patricio Pagani
    Patricio Pagani at |

    The topic of how poorly we treat participants is very close to my heart. I’ve argued a number of times that we are dealing with a ‘non-renewable’ resource, and burying our head on the sand about it.

    Not unlike with Global Warning, the incumbents do not like the topic of poor management of participants talked about too much. However, we are all responsible… aren’t we? Clients that insist on longer questionnaires than Panel Companies recommend. Panel Companies that don’t manage their databases properly and according to Dave & son’s experiments would send an irresponsible number of invitations even when quotas are close to being filled up (better be safe than sorry? I’m not that sure!).

    Whoever would brave enough to try a similar experiment to Daves’, i’m sure would have a similar experience, regardless of location and Panels that are chosen. Which means we could all do something to help!!

    Is this something that could be regulated more? Should be? Well, the world has set goals/targets for carbon emissions… maybe we should do the same on how to treat panel participants.


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