American Association for Public Opinion Research
Many surveys contain sets of questions (e.g., batteries), in which the same phrase, such as a reference period or a set of response categories, applies across the set. When formatting questions for interviewer administration, question writers often enclose these repeated phrases in parentheses to signal that interviewers have the option of reading the phrase. Little research, however, examines what impact this practice has on data quality. We explore whether the presence and use of parenthetical statements is associated with indicators of processing problems for both interviewers and respondents, including the interviewer’s ability to read the question exactly as worded, and the respondent’s ability to answer the question without displaying problems answering (e.g., expressing uncertainty). Data are from questions about physical and mental health from 355 digitally recorded, transcribed, and interaction-coded telephone interviews. We implement a mixed-effects model with crossed random effects and nested and crossed fixed effects. The models also control for some respondent and interviewer characteristics. Findings indicate respondents are less likely to exhibit a problem when parentheticals are read, but reading the parentheticals increase the odds(marginally significant) that interviewers will make a reading
Dykema, Jennifer; Schaeffer, Nora Cate; Garbarski, Dana; Nordheim, Erik V.; Banghart, Mark; and Cyffka, Kristen. The Impact of Parenthetical Phrases on Interviewers’ and Respondents’ Processing of Survey Questions. Survey Practice, 9, 2: 1-10, 2016. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Sociology: Faculty Publications and Other Works,
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Author Posting © Dykema J., N. C. Schaeffer, D. Garbarski, E. V. Nordheim, M. Banghart and K. Cyffka. 2016.