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Rachel A. Caspar

Director, Program for Research in Survey Methodology

Rachel A. Caspar is a senior survey methodologist who joined RTI in 1988. She specializes in designing questionnaires and developing data collection procedures for surveys of sensitive topics. She also adapts complex material and concepts to be easily and consistently understood by survey participants of all ages, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds. Ms. Caspar’s methodological research is broad based, focusing on survey methods for capturing data on sensitive topics, methods for reducing item and unit nonresponse, questionnaire evaluation and testing, and designing and implementing computer-assisted survey data collection. She is proficient in all facets of cognitive laboratory and usability testing. Ms. Caspar regularly teaches courses on questionnaire design and cognitive laboratory testing methods.


MA, Applied Social Research, The University of Michigan; BA (high honors), Sociology, Oberlin College.

Latest Publications

Beck, A.J., Berzofsky, M., Caspar, R., & Krebs, C. (May 2013). Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–12: National Inmate Survey, 2011–12: (NCJ 241399). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Miller, K., Fitzgerald, R., Padilla, J.L., Willson, S., Widdop, S., Caspar, R., et al. (2011). Design and Analysis of Cognitive Interviews for Comparative Multinational Testing. Field Methods, 23 (4, Spec. Iss.):379-396.
Goerman, P.L., & Caspar, R.A. (2010). A preferred approach for the cognitive testing of translated materials: testing the source version as a basis for comparison. International Journal of Social Research Methodology , 13 (4):303-316.
Beck, A.J., Harrison, P.M., Berzofsky, M., Caspar, R., & Krebs, C. (Aug 2010). Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2008-09: National Inmate Survey, 2008-09: (NCJ 231169). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau fo Justice Statistics.
Goerman, P.L., & Caspar, R.A. (2010). Managing the cognitive pretesting of multilingual survey instruments: A case study of pretesting of the U.S. Census Bureau Bilingual Spanish/English Questionnaire. In Harkness, J. (Eds), et al., Survey Methods in Multicultural, Multinational, and Multiregional Contexts . New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
View all publications by Rachel A. Caspar (13)


  • Instrument Design, Evaluation, and Testing
  • Collecting Sensitive Data