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Causes of mode effects: separating out interviewer and stimulus effects in comparisons of face-to-face and telephone surveys


Author Info

  • Roberts, Caroline
  • Jäckle, Annette


We attempt to isolate the causes of mode effects on measurement in a comparison of face-to-face and telephone interviewing, distinguishing between effects caused by differences in the type of question stimulus used in each mode (audio vs. visual) and effects caused by other differences between the modes, notably, the presence or absence of the interviewer. We use data from an experiment conducted in the context of the European Social Survey. Differences in the stimulus did not lead to differential measurement error, but the presence or absence of the interviewer did. Telephone respondents were far more likely to give socially desirable responses than face-to-face respondents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2012-27.

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Date of creation: 23 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2012-27

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK

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  1. Annette J‰ckle & Caroline Roberts & Peter Lynn, 2010. "Assessing the Effect of Data Collection Mode on Measurement," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, International Statistical Institute, vol. 78(1), pages 3-20, 04.
  2. Andy Peytchev & Lisa R. Carley-Baxter & Michele C. Black, 2011. "Multiple Sources of Nonobservation Error in Telephone Surveys: Coverage and Nonresponse," Sociological Methods & Research, , , vol. 40(1), pages 138-168, February.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-41 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Anders Wikman & Bo Wärneryd, 1990. "Measurement errors in survey questions: Explaining response variability," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 199-212, March.
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