A fish labeled 'Accurate Data' swimming in a sea labeled 'Context'.

Demographic Information

Tip: Ask for demographic information ONLY at the end of measures. There may be exceptions in cases for people with disabilities who will need accommodations in order to complete the measures. Begin with an interesting question that sets the tone for the measure and makes respondents feel their opinions are important to you. 1

Rationale: Research has found that asking demographic information at the beginning of a measure can impact participant response, particularly those of people of color and White women, in a variety of areas including:

Tip: When asking for demographic data, explain that it is voluntary and confidential, and then provide the reasons why you are collecting the data.

Rationale: If people see that there are valid reasons for you to ask for their personal information and know that their privacy will be respected, they are more likely to respond.

1 Ginery, T. (2009). Chosing your survey's first question. Web Surveys: a blog by Cvent.
2 Danaher, K., & Crandall, C. S. (2008). Stereotype threat in applied settings re-examined. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 1639-1655
Sinclair, S., Hardin, C. D., & Lowery, B. S. (2006). Self-stereotyping in the context of multiple social identities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(4): 529-542.