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Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2016-04

The impact of dependent interviewing wording and survey factors on reporting of change

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Publication date

14 Jul 2016

Abstract

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 any change occurred. 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. 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.

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