The purpose of the present study was to compare a methodologically sound telephone interviewing technique to the most promising web survey technique. Specifically, the web survey conducted for the present study randomly selected respondents who were members of a consumer panel whereas the telephone survey used a “cold-calling” method to randomly selected respondents. Two waves of each telephone surveys and web panel surveys were conducted. The present study is one of the first to empirically show that web panels can produce more reliable data estimates than telephone surveys. Further, web panels are cheaper and less time consuming to conduct than telephone surveys. Even though web panels might not be appropriate for all survey research endeavors, the results show that they can be a viable alternative to telephone surveys that allows researchers to conduct high-quality research.
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