The present study analyzes whether and how different types of progress indicators affect the tendency of respondents to continue filling out a web survey, focusing on whether the progress indicators’ effects depend on the position of the respondent in the questionnaire. Using a sample of 2460 respondents of a Dutch online access panel, we analyze three kinds of progress indicators (linear, fast-then-slow, slow-then-fast, and a control condition) using survival analysis. The results show that the effect of the indicators on the completion rate is either negative or nonexistent, depending on the questionnaire length. Moreover, the effect of an indicator does not depend on the position of the respondent in the answering process. We interpret our findings in terms of the implicit narrative between survey designer and respondent.
Matzat, U., Snijders, C. C. P., & Horst, van der, W. (2009). Effects of different types of progress indicators on drop-out rates in web surveys. Social Psychology, 40(1), 43-52. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-93184.108.40.206