Refusal conversion


FORS Guide Nº 04

How to cite

Voorpostel, M. (2019). Refusal Conversion. FORS Guide No. 04, Version 1.0. Lausanne: Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences FORS. doi:10.24449/FG-2019-00004


Refusal conversion is a common feature of most surveys. It entails re-approaching sample members who declined the first request to participate in the study, with the intention to convince them to participate after all. This procedure is successful in increasing survey response rates. This guide provides an overview of common practices in refusal conversion and how it is used in the Swiss Household Panel.


  • Although it increases the cost of the survey, refusal conversion has the potential to increase response rates substantially and usually is worth the effort.
  • Whereas sample members giving soft refusals (e.g. no time) are worth re-approaching, a definite hard refusal should be respected and not re-contacted.


Copyright: © the authors 2019. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)

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