Speeders and Straight-liners
These are the participants who either speed through the survey (speeders) and those who
give similar or identical values to blocks of questions in the surveys (straight-liners). These
respondents can be viewed as potential satisficers.
Speeders: If a respondent is not reading the questions clearly, we would expect their completion
time for a survey to be substantially less than those of their peers who perform the survey in a
more honest manner. In general, those who complete the survey in less than half the median
completion time are marked as speeders, but the measure must be tailored to survey design. In
studies with a large number of skips, speeding can be measured on a time-per-question basis.
Straight-liners: When posed with a multi-numeric list, one easy way for a respondent to quickly
work their way through the question is to simply click the same answer for each item. This is
“perfect” straight-lining. However, it is likely the case that in their lack of care, respondents will
select another option at least once if only by accident. For this reason, we actually define
straight-liners as those who answer in a near-straight line, as defined by the variance of their
answers compared to the variance of answers of the sample as a whole. A common criticism of a
straight-lining measure is that the nature of a multi-numeric list often encourages similar
responses across all items. For this reason it is important that any multi-numeric list used to
measure straight-lining has questions that one would reasonably expect respondents to have
varying opinions on (e.g. asking a respondent to agree with both positive and negative statements
about the same product).