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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11301-014-0111-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
In recent years Web surveys have emerged as the most popular mode of primary data collection in market and social research. To improve our understanding about the influence of different societal-level factors, characteristics of the sample person, and attributes of the survey design on participation in Web surveys, this paper establishes a systematic link between theoretical frameworks used to explain survey participation behavior and state-of-the-art empirical research on online data collection methods. The concepts of self-perception, cognitive dissonance, commitment and involvement, social exchange, compliance, leverage-salience, and planned behavior are discussed and their relationship with factors that have empirically proven to influence Web survey participation are analyzed using data from an expert survey. This paper will help researchers and practitioners to make informed decisions about the use of techniques increasing participation in Web surveys.