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Encyclopedia Entry

Response

Cary Stacy Smith & Li-Ching Hung

In survey research, a response generally refers to the answer a respondent provides when asked a question. However, a response to a survey can also be considered to occur when a sampled respondent decides whether or not to participate in the survey. Both types of responses may affect data quality; thus, a well-trained researcher will pay close attention to each. At the time a person is notified of having been sampled to participate in a survey, he or she may decide to participate or not. This response, whether or not to participate, affects the response rate of the survey, which essentially is the proportion of eligible respondents who agree to participate. ...

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