The impact of mobile phones on survey measurement error

Publication type

ISER Working Paper Series

Series Number



ISER Working Paper Series


Publication date

February 23, 2011


Mobile phone survey interviewing is becoming increasingly prevalent, so it is important to understand how it affects measurement error. We link cognitive response process theory (Tourangeau et al 2000) to theories of mode effects to build a comprehensive framework that identifies ways in which the different context of mobile interviews and differences inherent in the technology can influence survey responses. We evaluate elements of the framework using data from a randomised experiment in which respondents were assigned to be interviewed either by mobile or fixed phone and in which relevant measures of interview context were gathered. Our findings address causes of survey error resulting from mode of data collection, both in general and in the specific context of mobile phones. We also outline needed future research.


Paper download  



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest