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Department of Sociology Dillman, Don A.
Regents Professor

Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1969


Survey Methodology, Community, Diffusion of Technology

Research Interests

For more than twenty years I have been investigating how different visual languages (words, graphics, symbols, and numbers) independently and collectively influence answers to survey questions in web and paper surveys. I am also interested in how the use of visual language in such surveys may influence respondents to provide different answers than they do in aural language surveys by telephone. The results of this research are being used to develop guidelines (see 2014 book listed below) for designing and conducting mixed-mode surveys, which are becoming increasingly important as a means of improving the accuracy of survey results. During the last decade my research has transitioned to using the results of previous research to design successful web-push surveys, i.e. contacting people by mail with a request to answer a survey over the Internet, and later following up with an alternative mode of response such as mail.  These methods serve as a critically needed replacement for telephone surveys that are now experiencing dismal response rates. The web-push methods developed through dozens of experiments implemented by the Social and Economic Research Center, where I have a joint appointment, are now in use throughout the world. They have been used for censuses in Japan, Australia, Canada, China, and the United States, as well as sample surveys in dozens of other countries. My most recent research efforts now focus on gaining a better theoretical understanding of why people do and do not respond to surveys.



(509) 335-4150

Wilson-Short Hall 137

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

Dillman, Don A., Jolene D. Smyth and Leah Melani Christian. 2014.  Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys:  the Tailored Design, 4th ed. John Wiley Co.  Hoboken: NJ.

Edwards, Michelle L., Don A. Dillman and Jolene D. Smyth. 2014. An Experimental Test of the Effects of Survey Sponsorship on Internet and Mail Survey Response. Public Opinion Quarterly.  78 (3): 734-750.

Dillman, Don A., Feng Hao and Morgan M. Millar. 2016.  In Press. Chapter 15.  Improving the Effectiveness of Online Data Collection by Mixing Survey Modes.  In Fielding, Nigel, Lee, Raymond M. and Blank, Grant (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods 2nd edition.  Sage Publications, London.

Battaglia, Micheal, Dillman, Don A., Frankel, Martin R., Harter, Rachel, Trent D., McPhee Cameron Brook, DeMatteis, Jill Montaquila and Yancey, Tracey.. 2016. Sampling data collection and weighting procedures for address-based sample surveys. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology 4 (4): 476-500.

Dillman, D.A. 2017. The promise and challenge of pushing respondents to the Web in mixed-mode surveys. Survey Methodology, Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 12-001-X, Vol. 43, No. 1. Paper available as PDF (English):