An anonymous survey is conducted by an objective researcher and excludes the collection of respondent's personal information so that whoever filled out the questionnaire, his or her choices can't be identified later on.
The terms “anonymous” and “confidential” should not be confused. Anonymous means not identified by name. Confidential means private, secret, not universally available or known only to a select few.
In this case, any information identifying respondents is encrypted. For web questionnaires, the identifying information is the IP address of the computer running the web browser. For email questionnaires, it is the email address of the person who sends the questionnaire. The encrypted identifying information is stored in the HOST field of your database.
This guide will teach you:
1. How to ensure a respondent only takes the survey once
If the system is fully unidentified, meaning that nothing about the respondent identity is being tracked, then you are essentially allowing one respondent to take the questionnaire as many times as he wants, thus ending up with possible biased data. If you want to make sure that each respondent can take the questionnaire only once, then you need some kind of tracking or identification system, to see who already competed it and who hasn't.
Luckily, you can prevent people from taking the questionnaire twice, without knowing who they are, by using encrypted values. Duplicate addresses will show the same encrypted value allowing you to filter out duplicates easily and ensuring unbiased data.
Having said that, the aim of an this questionnaire type is not to have unidentifiable people, but to have unidentifiable answers. Thus, we can not identify a respondent by his answers, but we do know who has and who hasn't completed the questionnaire. Use the Limit the responses of your questionnaire feature to control the times a respondent can take your survey.
2. Anonymous survey example
Let's consider polls. They can remain unidentified to the extent you can know who is voting, but you would not know who they voted for. So, in such cases, you can track the IP or e-mail address, but you cannot track the voting results (their choices).
Check out the entire glossary list in a printable list.
- The sample size refers to the number of individual pieces of data collected in a questionnaire. The sample size is important in determining the accuracy and reliability of a questionnaire's findings. In practice, the sample size used is determined based on the expense of data collection, and the need to have sufficient statistical power.