The Effect of Communication Medium on Research Participation Decisions



Students are often used in research as research subjects or to validate/pilot questionnaires. It is known that response rates to requests to participate in research projects vary as a function of a number of factors. This research brief examines the effect of the communication medium on response rate by comparing an oral request for participation with an email request. Email and oral communication, specifically public oral communication, are the two easiest and presumably most common approaches faculty members have to access students to request their participation in research. Results show that an impersonal email to a mailing list is the worst way researchers can approach students to request participation, with there being no difference between making the request by personalized email or orally.