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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

Different Technologies, same Assumptions? Comparing the Response Behaviour (and Political Stance) of Mobile versus Desktop VAA users

Constantinos Djouvas
Cyprus University of Technology
Constantinos Djouvas
Cyprus University of Technology

VAAs are web tools that have evolved from classical paper-based questionnaires. Indeed, before their online popularity, VAAs originally developed as paper-based tests. Nowadays there has been a third paradigm shift in VAA technology: the move towards mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Especially from a research perspective, the assumption thus far is that the mode of VAA completion does not matter. But is this a valid assumption? To the best of our knowledge, there is no research that properly compares the behaviour of two clearly distinguishable set of VAA users, that is the mobile and the desktop users.

To test the mode effect assumptions, this paper compares the personal characteristics and political stance of users using mobile vs. those using desktop devices. It draws on data collected by EUVox, an EU-wide voting advice application (VAA) for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. Results drawn from this analysis can feed into new rounds of VAA R&D aiming at developing more customizable and automatically adjustable VAAs that target each user's unique characteristics.
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