Department of Sociology Dillman, Don A.
Regents’ Professor

Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1969


Survey Methods, Diffusion of Technology, Community


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 guide 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. However, the main emphasis of my current research is on how to effectively utilize addressed-based sampling methods to encourage survey respondents to complete web surveys, instead of telephone or mail surveys. I am active in applying the results of my research to designing national surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, USDA, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other agencies that provide statistical estimates for making major policy  decisions.


(509) 335-4150

Wilson-Short Hall 137

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

Stern, Michael J., Ipek Bilgen and Don A. Dillman.  In Press. The State Of Survey Methodology: Challenges, Dilemmas, and New Frontiers in the Era of Tailored Design.  Field Methods.

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. (Published on-line at doi:10.1093/poq/nfu027).

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.

Rookey, Bryan D., Lena Le, Margaret Littlejohn, and Don A. Dillman.  2012.  Understanding the Resilience of Mail-Back Survey Methods: An Analysis of Twenty Years of Change in Response Rates to National Park Surveys. Social Science Research 41: 1404-1414.