Henk Roose, John Lievens, and Hans Waege The Joint Effect of Topic Interest and Follow-Up Procedures on the Response in a Mail Questionnaire: An Empirical Test of the Leverage-Saliency Theory in Audience Research Sociological Methods & Research 2007 35: 410-428.

Leverage-saliency theory provides a seminal basis for research on the differential effects of response-facilitating techniques in surveys. In this article, a quasi-experimental design is applied to analyze the effect of follow-up procedures, taking into account the sample persons’ interest in the survey topic. The authors use multilevel logistic regression to map response on a mail questionnaire in the second step of a two-step data collection procedure. It is found that—after controlling for the effects of sociodemographic and performance-related covariates—the effect of follow-up procedures is larger for those less interested in the survey topic. As such, these findings are an empirical confirmation of the leverage-saliency theory. Some implications for survey research are discussed.

Key Words: nonresponse • survey participation • leverage-saliency theory • Total Design Method • topic interest

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