Sponsorship Effects in Online Surveys


Many academic surveys administered online include a banner along the top of the survey displaying the name or logo of the researcher’s university. These banners may unintentionally influence respondents’ answers since subtle contextual cues often have great impact on survey responses. Our study aims to determine whether these banners influence survey respondents’ answers, that is, whether they induce sponsorship effects. For this purpose, we field three different studies on Amazon’s MTurk where we randomly assign the sponsoring institution. Our outcome measures include survey questions about social conservatism, religious practices, group affect, and political knowledge. We find that respondents provide similar answers and exhibit similar levels of effort regardless of the apparent sponsor.

Political Behavior