The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Professional respondent

A person who participates in many market research projects (sometimes by deceit), primarily in order to benefit from the gifts given to respondents. Although repeat attendance is not always a problem, it can lead to unacceptable bias in qualitative research so it is generally discouraged. Certain standard recruitment procedures are designed to prevent this. However, with the growth of qualitative research and increasing pressures on potential respondents from competing businesses (direct marketing, for example), there is some feeling in the industry that large regulated panels of willing respondents may offer a better option than current arrangements.

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