Couchsurfing survey results: experience and trust

The dataset described here is a part of my PhD research on Couchsurfing and hospitality networks, the full SPSS-dataset will be available for anyone after my PhD is published (which will happen early in 2015).

In the series of posts on Poisoned Coffee I will provide an overview of the data collected along with some comments. In the first one I will provide basic information about people who participated in the survey, CS use and individual trust in the network.

Second post discusses the negative experiences and motivation to use

In total 990 users participated in the survey.
The respondents age and gender distribution was the following:
couchsurfing data 1

Similarly to the findings of the Stanford research group[1], I observed certain specification in the usage of Couchsurfing: many members use the network either for hosting or for surfing but not both. The experience in the following table is counted in the number of times a user hosted or stayed at other user’s place.
couchsurfing experience

1-2 days are the most common span for one stay arranged through the network. More than two-thirds of all respondents indicated that as their typical visiting time.
typical time spent couchsurfing

During the stay, more than a half of all users (51,7%) say they often engage into common activities with their guests or hosts. 77.9% at least sometimes accompany the guest around the city they live, showing around. 67% of users admitted they maintain contact with people they met through Couchsurfing “sometimes” or “often”. In contrast only 15.9 and 13.8 per cent of people indicated they frequently participate in CS meeting and CS groups respectively.
activities on couchsurfing

The Couchsurfing users were asked a number of trust-related questions, one of which was the standard trust-question: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people?”
It allowed to assess respondent’s trust on a 11-point scale. From 0 to 10.
trust in couchsurfing

Mean trust index by country (only countries with more than 20 valid answers are included):
trust index by country

When compared with the control group who did not use hospitality exchange networks, CS users were found significantly more trustful.

15 thoughts on “Couchsurfing survey results: experience and trust”

  1. Hello! I’m a University student in Economics, I’m really interested in your research, I would like to see your dateset in order to run on it an econometrics project. Could your please share your dataset with me?

    1. Hi, Silvia.
      Sorry for such late reply, the spam settings at this blog were not aligned properly :(.

      What are you interested exactly in? Is there a particular question you are looking into? I did not collect much info related to the economics (no income data for example).

  2. Hi Alexander!

    Your research is very interesting and I hope your PhD viva has gone successfully.

    My colleagues are doing some critical research on the sharing economy and we would be very interested in seeing your SPSS data set which you said would be freely available.

    We are interested in reciprocity and hosting vs surfing numbers, variants on trust as the new currency and therefore also reviews.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by email.

    Many thanks in advance,

  3. Hi Alexander,

    Im currently writing a thesis about users of the sharing economy. I am very much interested in your research and find it amazing to find reliable information in a cool blog post. Could you maybe send me your SPSS dataset by mail if possible?

  4. Hello alexander,

    I am working on recommendations for tourists and would like to see the dataset you have on Couchsurfing. It would help me a lot on running some experiments for recommendations.

    Is it possible for you to share this? We wont use it for any commercial uses, I assure you that.

  5. Hi Man,

    I am doing a thesis on reputation and trust around the internet and i am very interested in the questions and data set you have obtained from the couchsurfing community. Is it possible you can share it? I would be much appreciated.


  6. Well done Alexander,

    I’m Master student and I’m studying trust on the sharing economy buy focusing on Airbnb by now. Would you mind your dataset with me. I may compare it to Airbnb.

    Thanks in advance,

  7. I am Pawel. I really like You researches. They are quite interesting for me.
    I am studying informatics and econometric. Because i am active user AIRBNB and Couchsurfing, I want to do researches about (with quantitative methods). Would You share Yours data from this and “Couchsurfing survey results: motivations and negative experiences” articles. I would be grateful.

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