Paid Surveys Honesty: Why It Is Important When Taking Surveys

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Every month, thousands of people all over the world take part in online paid surveys. They are a good way to make some extra cash and reward for helping companies understand their customers. 

However, being honest while taking paid surveys should go without saying, right? Not according to the number of survey takers who answer them dishonestly.

You must be honest when taking surveys. This is because it is very important to the survey administrators who are running your surveys. Your honesty determines whether or not you will be paid for your time and effort. 

If you are found to have lied in a survey, you can be banned from taking all future surveys. Aside from getting banned, your already submitted results can also be deleted by survey administrators.

There are a number of reasons why you should complete paid surveys as honestly as possible. This article will talk about those reasons.

What are paid surveys?

Well, paid surveys are a way to make money online by getting paid to answer a few questions. Paid surveys offer you an opportunity to make some additional cash online in your spare time, wherever you may be.

Paid survey websites are everywhere and for this reason, much has been written about how to make money taking surveys. However, there are several things that you need to know before getting started taking surveys for money.

Why do companies pay you for doing surveys?

There are many reasons why they will do that. Firstly, companies pay you for completing online surveys in order to see how the regular customers feel about a product. They are also trying to get valuable opinions from you. 

You have probably seen offers on social media sites to test a new makeup line and got paid for it. That is just one of the ways how you can earn some extra money. You can even earn a full-time income by making a connection with companies that need your opinion.

Can survey companies know if you are not honest?

Yes. Some survey companies have software that is designed to identify patterns of non-responses or very short responses.

Typically, when the company sees a pattern that indicates the participant may not be responding honestly, it investigates further. They do this by contacting the participant via email or phone for clarification. 

Survey companies can tell if you are being dishonest. Surveys take place all the time, many from the same surveys sites to ensure honesty takes place. Each site uses several techniques to verify that you are providing an honest reply.

Reasons why people lie during paid surveys

Below are a few reasons why people lie during paid surveys:

Improving their feelings of self worth

Almost everyone will lie at least a little bit on their surveys regardless of payment. They will say what they think the surveyor wants to hear to improve their own personal feelings about themselves. They also do this for the sole reason that they want to make money.

Providing socially-desirable answers

While it may be tempting to provide socially desirable answers on a survey, doing so can cause you to give inaccurate information.

To ensure that your responses are accurate, just keep in mind that you will likely need to disclose some personal information while answering questions. 

This can make it difficult for people who want to present themselves in a certain way. Some people may feel like they have to choose socially desirable answers so as not to appear rude, mean, or bitter in any way

Getting defensive about sensitive topics

When sensitive topics arise in your surveys, many respondents may feel uncomfortable and become defensive. If you ask them personal questions that they find inappropriate or violate their own privacy, you risk losing credibility altogether.

Concerned over anonymity or confidentiality

Concerned about privacy, respondents are sometimes too afraid of having their identities compromised. This may be a challenge especially in the case of sensitive topics, flash surveys, or product tests.

Wanting to be polite

It is important to remember that people who are taking your surveys want to please you. They want you to be happy with their answers. They don’t really want to lie but it’s human nature to just want to make the other person happy so they will provide answers that support what you would like the outcome to be.

Trying to get an incentive

It is said that money is the biggest motivator because we do many things in life and it is the same for those people who lie during paid surveys. They are trying to get that incentive.

Trying to influence outcomes

If the outcome of a survey question is important to you, then you’re more likely to lie to get what you want. This could be favorable treatment on future surveys or something more basic such as positive feedback or an entry into a contest. 

Some people believe that when they participate in a paid survey, the company sponsoring it has an obligation to their customers to produce a quality product. If this is the case, companies can’t fulfill their obligation if they don’t hear from all types of customers.

Intentionally being malicious

One reason why people lie during the paid survey process is that they’re trying to influence the outcome. If they know the answer to a question, they may not give an honest answer since they feel as if it will skew the results of the survey and affect their chances of being accepted.

Instead, they’ll choose an answer that would put them in a more favorable light.

Making an honest mistake

There is one reason that some people lie during paid surveys. This is when they have made an honest mistake and have forgotten to record every item they completed and it has therefore made them unable to reach the required number of points for that particular survey.

Ways they know you are not being honest with your answers

There are a few ways that the survey host knows you are not being honest with your survey answers.

Creating interconnected questions

There are several ways in which survey sites try to filter out participants that are not being 100% honest with their answers. One of the most common ways is by creating interconnected questions and by using specific keywords in your survey questions. 

By doing this, it makes it very hard for a participant to answer the question honestly while answering other questions correctly.

Checking the average answering time

Here is why you should always be honest with your answers and why they might not pay you if they notice that your results are inconsistent with other users. They want to offer you their best questions so they can learn the most about you and serve better ads in the future.

If it seems like you’re answering quicker than everyone else, there’s a good chance there’s a problem.

Reading everything in the survey forms

It is very important to read the instructions in a survey form. Questionnaires are meant to gather accurate information about your attitude towards a particular subject. So if you do not answer honestly, then your opinions will no longer be useful and market researchers will not be able to use your opinions for future projects.

What are the consequences for not being honest in surveys?

The most apparent consequence for lying in surveys will be a reduced scope and impact of the research. This is in order to protect the quality of information generated by the surveys and accurately reflect the views of respondents. 

The main consequence of lying on online surveys is a complete exclusion from future surveys. Getting banned from all future surveys is quite a loss since online researchers are only paid for their time. There are no additional payment bonuses for participation.

Ways to get people to tell the truth during surveys

You always want to get truthful information from your survey respondents. However, it is sometimes difficult to get the required information from them. Here are some tips that will help you achieve this.

Emphasize the importance of the research

What little research we conducted indicated that individuals would be willing to lie in a survey (both on their own terms or out of politeness). The only thing that could combat this desire would be emphasizing how important the information is to the company, and reassuring the participant that such information is extremely useful.

Avoid leading questions

It is always important to avoid leading questions in your survey, particularly when asking participants to rate the attractiveness of the products.

Ask questions ASAP

Ask questions first. Some people might not tell the truth (for a variety of reasons) if you don’t start off by asking if you can record their responses and whether they are happy to be taking part in the survey. The same goes for starting with demographics questions.

Don’t give out incentives

Nobody likes doing surveys, but if you want responses that are both accurate and honest, forget about incentives. Instead, say they’re helping experts understand how the world works.


Is lying on a survey illegal?

Lying on a survey is an act of dishonesty and there is nothing illegal about it. Lying on a particular survey can have such a large impact on the people, and institutions who rely on such data. The companies and organizations who conduct surveys understand the influence lying has on the outcome of the research they are conducting.

What is the main purpose of a survey?

The main purpose of a survey is to find out how people truly feel about things. You want a broad spectrum of people to take your survey so you will know who your target audience is going to be.

For instance, if you are trying to sell a new product for cats, you would survey cat owners. You need their opinions on the pros and cons of the product.


If you’re planning on doing any paid surveys, honesty is the best policy. Honesty means that you provide honest opinions and give your time to the product testing with generosity. 

You can actually get a lot of money and get some chances to try free products by just spending a small amount of time each day in paid surveys online. It may be difficult at first but once you get used to it, it will be very fun for you.