Studies that have used web-based samples:


Research Design

Birnbaum (1999)

Ran decision-making experiments with two samples, n=1224 Internet respondents and n=124 undergraduate respondents.

Buchanan & Smith (1999)

Compared n=963 Internet respondents to n=224 paper and pencil respondents to a personality survey (self-monitoring).

Coomber (1997)

Obtained n=80 Internet responses to a mixed open-ended/closed-ended survey of drug dealers.

Frame & Beaty (2000)

Compared web-based survey to email survey and paper survey with random assignment of about n=70 to each group.

Helgeson & Ursic (1989)

Used random assignment with n=126 undergraduate business students to compare electronic vs. paper and pencil survey administration using a process tracing strategy.

Krantz, Ballard, & Scher (1997)

Obtained n=573 Internet responses and n=233 undergraduate responses to an experiment on body image and female attractiveness.

Pasveer & Ellard (1998)

Obtained two samples (n=429, n=1657) of Internet respondents and two samples of paper and pencil respondents (n=760, n=148) to a personality inventory.

Pettit (1999)

Surveyed n=839 Internet respondents on demographics and computer anxiety.

Schaefer & Dillman (1998)

Compared response rates in a field experiment using email and paper/pencil faculty surveys.

Shaw & Davis (1996)

Compared n=184 email respondents to n=206 postal mail respondents on a survey of technology use among language and literature scholars.

Smith & Leigh (1997)

Compared n=72 Internet respondents to n=56 paper and pencil undergraduate respondents in a survey study of sexual fantasies.

Stanton (1998a)

Conducted two-group confirmatory factor analysis of survey results on Internet sample (n=50) and postal mail sample (n=181).

Swoboda et al. (1997)

An email-based survey of n=8859 had a response rate of 20.8%.

Tse (1998)

Email survey results (n=21) were compared with paper and pencil survey results (n=104).

Yost (1998)

Compared different conditions (paper only and paper with an option for web response) resulting in n=1090 paper and pencil vs. n=405 web respondents to an attitude survey.

References for these studies (please note that we cannot provide reprints of these studies; please contact your university's library for more information):

Birnbaum, M. H. (1999). Testing critical properties of decision making on the Internet. Psychological Science, 10, 399-407.

Buchanan, T., & Smith, J. L. (1999). Using the Internet for psychological research: Personality testing on the World Wide Web.  British Journal of Psychology, 90, 125-144.

Coomber, R. (1997). Using the Internet for survey research. Sociological Research Online, 2 (2). Available:

Frame, J. H., & Beaty, J. C. (2000, April). An Empirical Investigation of High-Technology Survey Methods: Paper-and-Pencil, Email, and Web-Based—Which is better?  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, New Orleans, LA.

Helgeson, J. G., & Ursic, M. L. (1989).  The decision process equivalency of electronic versus pencil-and-paper data collection methods. Social Science Computer Review, 7, 296-310.

Krantz, J. H., Ballard, J., & Scher, J. (1997). Comparing the results of laboratory and Word-Wide Web samples on determinants of female attractiveness. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 29, 264-269.

Pasveer, K. A., & Ellard, J. H. (1998). The making of a personality inventory: Help from the WWW.  Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 30, 309-313.

Pettit, F. A. (1999).  Exploring the use of the World Wide Web as a psychology data collection tool.  Computers in Human Behavior, 15, 67-71.

Schaefer, D. R., & Dillman, D. A. (1998). Development of a standard email methodology: Results of an experiment.  Public Opinion Quarterly, 62, 378-397.

Shaw, D., & Davis, C. H. (1996). The Modern Language Association: Electronic and paper surveys of computer-based tool use. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47, 932-940.

Smith, M. A., & Leigh, B. (1997).  Virtual subjects: Using the Internet as an alternative source of subjects and research environment. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 29, 496-505.

Stanton, J. M. (1998a). An empirical assessment of data collection using the Internet.  Personnel Psychology, 51, 709-725.

Swoboda, W. J., Muhlberger, N., Weitkunat, R., Schneeweiss, S. (1997). Internet surveys by direct mailing: An innovative way of collecting data.  Social Science Computer Review, 15, 242-255.

Tse, A.C. B. (1998).  Comparing the response rate, response speed and response quality of two methods of sending questionnaires: E-mail vs. mail.  Journal of the Market Research Society, 40, 353-361.

Yost, P.R. & Homer, L.E. (1998, April).  Electronic versus Paper Surveys: Does the Medium Affect the Response? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.  Dallas, TX.