Last year your answer was …: the impact of dependent interviewing wording and survey factors on reporting of change

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

February 15, 2017


Prior studies suggest memories are potentially error prone. Proactive dependent interviewing (PDI) is a possible method to reduce errors in reports of change in longitudinal studies, reminding respondents of previous answers while asking if there has been any change since the last survey. However, little research has been conducted on the impact of PDI question wording. This study examines the impact of PDI wording on change reports and how these wordings interact with other survey features such as mode, question content, and prior change. Experimental results indicate that asking about change in an unbalanced fashion leads to more reports of change initially than other wordings, but only in a face-to-face survey. Follow-up questions led to final change reports that were similar across all wordings, but this necessitates asking additional questions. Findings suggest that asking PDI using change as the initial option should be avoided.

Published in

Field Methods

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 29 , p.61 -78







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