Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark A. Ward, PhD


The purpose of this study was to determine if survey medium (paper versus computer) affected responses and response rates in Air Force personnel. The study compared responses and response rates from 900 randomly selected Air Force active-duty members using a paper-based survey, a computer-based survey, and a more complex computer-based survey. The first computer-based survey minimized the differences between itself and the paper-based survey to more accurately quantify any bias due solely to the computer medium. The more complex survey served to maximize differences between itself and the other computer-based survey to more accurately quantify any bias due to programmatic complexity. In addition, responses from groups stratified on gender (men and women) and military commission (officers and enlisted) were compared between the three survey types. The results showed that no statistically significant differences could be detected between the paper and computer surveys overall and for men, women, officer, and enlisted personnel. In the context of non-sensitive, organizational research, paper and computer surveys can be considered equivalent research mediums with regard to reliability and validity.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number