The other day I received an email requesting that I partake in a survey of health behaviors for college women. Normally, I would be pretty hesitant to take this type of survey since I know any survey regarding health is likely to contain sensitive items. However, since taking this class I have a new appreciation for the work that goes into making a survey effective and am a little more open to helping people obtain the information they need.
With this survey particularly, it was smart of the survey designers to write in the body of the email, and in capitalized letters, that all information is confidential. Usually I read about confidentiality in the informed consent section prior to taking a survey, but in this instance, if the confidentiality tidbit hadn't been entered in the email's body, I probably wouldn't have even clicked the survey to read the informed consent.
The content in the survey was also created well, specifically its use of many filter questions to filter out those respondents for whom an item would not be applicable.
Also, this survey's use of incentivizing (what college student wouldn't want a $25 Target gift card?) was especially well done. If you require that your respondents provide sensitive and personal information, a little incentive can go a long way.