Information for Interviewees
The Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences’ Survey Lab conducts interviews to investigate the attitudes and behavior of the general public for various research projects. To this end, we regularly ring up randomly generated telephone numbers according to a scientific method. The numbers are anonymized during the call to ensure that our student interviewers cannot see your number, name, address, or similarly identifying information.
The reason for calling
If we ring you up, that means that we would like to ask you to participate in a scientific survey of the general population. These surveys are commissioned by various researchers and institutions. See Projects (page in German) for an overview of current surveys.
Voluntary participation, anonymity, and data protection
Participation in these surveys is voluntary. Information about participants is evaluated in an anonymous and aggregate form. We make no connection between the personal data of the participants and their answers. We separate personal data from the survey results immediately after collecting the data.
When carrying out research projects, we work together closely with Universität Hamburg’s data protection officer, who registers and checks all our surveys.
Do you no longer want your telephone number or other personal data to be used in our studies or do you have other questions about the WISO Research Lab? Contact us at: forschungslabor(forschungslabor.wiso"AT"uni-hamburg.de).firstname.lastname@example.org.
My number is not in the telephone directory, so why have I received a telephone call?
The sampling procedure used in the WISO Lab is the scientific Gabler-Häder method, with which the root of the publicly available telephone number is retained and the last 2 digits are randomly replaced. This enables us to reach people whose numbers are not in the telephone directory.
Why was I contacted on my cell phone?
The staff in the WISO Research Lab generally only call landlines when performing telephone surveys. If you have set up call-forwarding from your landline to your cell phone or have a “home zone” landline number for your cell phone, it is possible that we will contact you on your cell phone.
Aren’t these telephone calls illegal?
Our telephone calls are strictly for the purpose of academic research and are not classified as advertising or sales calls, which are prohibited in accordance with Section 7 subsection 2 nos. 2 and 3 of the German Act Against Unfair Competition (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG). This prohibition does not apply to calls placed exclusively for research purposes.
The WISO Research Lab complies with the guidelines for telephone surveys issued by the associations for market and social research in Germany. These guidelines specify that during telephone surveys for the purpose of market and social research the anonymity of persons interviewed must be guaranteed under all circumstances. The correlation between telephone numbers and your answers are deleted as soon as possible to ensure that your answers can no longer be matched to your personal data.
Read more about the guidelines for telephone surveys.
Why should I take part in your survey?
As a research laboratory at Universität Hamburg, we strive to design our surveys so that they are as representative as possible. A survey is representative when the interviewees share as many characteristics as possible with the group of persons to be investigated. For this reason, our goal is to interview people of every age group, gender, and origin by means of random samples. It is important for us that you still take part in the survey even if the subject of the survey does not particularly interest you. This way, we can ensure that the opinion of all members of the population are reflected and not just of those who are interested in the subject of the survey.
If you do not have time to take part in the survey when we contact you, the interviewer will ask you if they can call again later. We would be delighted if you would take advantage of this offer.
What happens with my data?
We have a research interest in your opinion; it is not important to us to match an opinion with an individual. Your answers to our questions are recorded electronically by our interviewers and evaluated together with the answers from other survey participants. The information you provide is separated from your telephone number so that your answers cannot be matched to you as an individual. Your statements are used solely in anonymized form.