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Qualitative Interviewing of Respondents in Large Representative Surveys

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  • Olaf Groh-Samberg
  • Ingrid Tucci

Abstract

Large representative surveys are using mixed methods to an ever-increasing degree. Biomarkers, register data, and experiments, for example, provide different types of data that can be linked with survey data. The use of qualitative interviewing of participants in longitudinal surveys is still rare, however, in the social sciences. Yet qualitative methods have proven just as valuable as quantitative methods in providing insights into social reality by reflecting the multidimensionality of individual life courses and lived realities. Furthermore, indepth interviews can provide a better understanding of individual decision-making processes and behavior resulting from more or less unconscious strategies. They also provide insights into decisive turning points in people’s lives. Finally, by linking quantitative and qualitative data, the reliability of longitudinal information can be analyzed thoroughly in terms of accuracy as well as meaningfulness.

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Paper provided by German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD) in its series Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data with number 143.

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Length: 11
Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rsw:rswwps:rswwps143

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Keywords: mixed methods; qualitative data; longitudinal data; life course;

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  1. Adato, Michelle & Lund, Francie & Mhlongo, Phakama, 2007. "Methodological Innovations in Research on the Dynamics of Poverty: A Longitudinal Study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 247-263, February.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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