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Speeders and Straight-liners

These are the participants who either speed through the survey (speeders) and those who give similar or identical values to blocks of questions in the surveys (straight-liners). These respondents can be viewed as potential satisficers.

Speeders: If a respondent is not reading the questions clearly, we would expect their completion time for a survey to be substantially less than those of their peers who perform the survey in a more honest manner. In general, those who complete the survey in less than half the median completion time are marked as speeders, but the measure must be tailored to survey design. In studies with a large number of skips, speeding can be measured on a time-per-question basis.

Straight-liners: When posed with a multi-numeric list, one easy way for a respondent to quickly work their way through the question is to simply click the same answer for each item. This is “perfect” straight-lining. However, it is likely the case that in their lack of care, respondents will select another option at least once if only by accident. For this reason, we actually define straight-liners as those who answer in a near-straight line, as defined by the variance of their answers compared to the variance of answers of the sample as a whole. A common criticism of a straight-lining measure is that the nature of a multi-numeric list often encourages similar responses across all items. For this reason it is important that any multi-numeric list used to measure straight-lining has questions that one would reasonably expect respondents to have varying opinions on (e.g. asking a respondent to agree with both positive and negative statements about the same product).

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