Conference Paper University of Essex, Department of Health and Human Sciences Departmental Seminar
When Change Matters: The Effect of Dependent Interviewing on Survey Interaction in the British Household Panel Study
14 May 2008
We examine how dependent interviewing affects verbal interaction between interviewers and
respondents in questions obtaining current employment details in the British Household
Panel Study. Respondents experience few cognition problems when answering DI questions,
but interruption and elaboration are likely at PDI questions. These behaviours occur when
respondent circumstances have changed. Departures from standardised interviewing are also
likely when circumstances change. DI seems to reduce the accuracy of detail about such
change since we observe interviewer behaviour that others find to produce inaccurate data.
Nevertheless, these results may explain why DI reduces the odds of spurious change between
waves of panels.