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Careless Responding

Project Brief

Online surveys are widely used due to their many advantages compared to other modes of data collection. Unfortunately, careless responding, responses that do not reflect true scores (Ward, Meade, Allred, Pappalardo & Stoughton, 2017), is prevalent in online surveys and can cause a range of psychometric problems. Researchers recently began to focus on developing useful ways to identify and remove CR from online survey data (Curran, 2016). However, trimming careless respondents non-randomly alters the original sample, thereby threatening external validity. Thus, prevention is needed in addition to identification and removal. Results across studies suggest that no prevention strategy previously studied prevents all forms of CR (Ward & Meade, 2017; Ward & Pond, 2015). The underwhelming findings from previous prevention interventions strongly suggest a new approach to prevention is needed, preferably one that is grounded in empirically tested and robust theory. Work design has high potential to be a particularly useful theoretical area in which a new approach to CR prevention can develop. How can work design theory be applied to prevent careless responding during online surveys?

Contact for more information: MK Ward


            MK Ward


Curran, P. G. (2016). Methods for the detection of carelessly invalid responses in survey data. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 66, 4–19.

Ward, M. K., & Meade, A. W. (2017). Applying Social Psychology to Prevent Careless Responding during Online Surveys. Applied Psychology, 0(0).

Ward, M. K., Meade, A. W., Allred, C. M., Pappalardo, G., & Stoughton, J. W. (2017). Careless response and attrition as sources of bias in online survey assessments of personality traits and performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 417–430.

Ward, M. K., & Pond, S. B. (2015). Using virtual presence and survey instructions to minimize careless responding on Internet-based surveys. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 554–568.

More information

Jia Xin Tay_577_Web.jpg
Sharon Parker-04.jpg
Laura Fruhen-13.jpg

Laura Fruhen

Jia-Xin Tay

Sharon Parker

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