Comparing Oral Interviewing with Self-Administered Computerized Questionnairesan Experiment
Posted: 15 Mar 2010
Date Written: Spring 2010
A previous field experiment conducted via national surveys showed that data collected via the Internet manifested higher concurrent and predictive validity and less random and systematic measurement error than data collected via telephone interviewing. To ascertain the extent to which these differences were attributable to mode per se, a laboratory experiment was conducted in which respondents were randomly assigned to answer questions either on a computer or over an intercom with an interviewer. Replicating findings from the national surveys, the laboratory experiment indicated higher concurrent validity, less survey satisficing, and less social desirability response bias in the computer mode than in the intercom mode. The mode difference in concurrent validity and non-differentiation was most pronounced among respondents with more limited cognitive skills. Taken together, these results suggest a potential inherent advantage of questionnaire self-administration on the computer over telephone administration.
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