Genetic underpinnings of survey response

Lori Foster Thompson, Zhen Zhang, Richard D. Arvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of genetic factors on survey response behavior. A pool of 558 male and 500 female twin pairs from the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR) was asked to complete a paper-and-pencil survey of leadership activities. We used quantitative genetics techniques to estimate the genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental effects on people's compliance with the request for survey participation. Results indicated that genetic influences explained 45% of the variance in survey response behavior for both women and men, with little shared environmental effects. Similar estimates were obtained after we partialled out potential confounds including twin closeness, age, and education. The results have important implications for response rates and nonresponse bias in survey-based research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-412
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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