Privacy and Confidentiality

as Factors in Survey Response, in Public Data Use, Vol. 6, No 4, July 1978.

Analytic FocusPrivacy and Confidentiality as Factors in Survey Response

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There has been much discussion in the last few years about declining response rates, or increased difficulty in attaining response, in surveys of human populations.  Concerns about privacy and confidentiality have been mentioned as contributing factors.  The Bureau of the Census commissioned the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a study to develop and test methodology to explore and measure these concerns. As part of this study, specifications were drawn up for two pilot surveys.  One is an experiment in response behavior under five differently stated conditions of confidentiality, conducted by the Bureau of the Census.  The other is a survey of people’s experience as survey respondents and their attitudes about surveys, conducted in two half-samples by the Bureau of the Census and by the Michigan University Survey Research Center.

-Goldfield, Edwin D.; Turner, Anthony G.; Cowan, Charles D.; Scott, John C.

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