• Presentation

Monitoring Field Interviewer and Respondent Interactions Using Computer-Assisted Recorded Interviewing: A Case Study

Citation

Mitchell, S. B., Fahrney, K. M., & Strobl, M. M. (2009, May). Monitoring Field Interviewer and Respondent Interactions Using Computer-Assisted Recorded Interviewing: A Case Study. Presented at AAPOR 2009, .

Abstract

A major challenge of managing field staff is the lack of direct information about what takes place during the interview. Digital audio recording, also known as computer audio-recorded interviewing (CARI), is a useful tool for monitoring data quality in field surveys. CARI is a modification of the electronic questionnaire that allows laptops to record the verbal exchange between the interviewer and the respondent. CARI may be used to monitor interviewer behavior in the field, including interviewers’ adherence to protocols, the accuracy of data capture, and the authenticity of interviews. CARI offers supervisors the ability to provide more informed and detailed feedback to field interviewers to improve their performance.

This session will focus on the use of CARI in the Study of Community Family Life (SCFL), an in-person survey of 13,000 households in urban areas. We describe the sampling plan for reviewing cases, the selection of questions to record, the infrastructure that supported CARI, interviewer and respondent acceptance, and the level of effort required to implement CARI. In addition, we summarize the type and magnitude of interviewer behavior problems we observed: probing inappropriately, providing biased feedback, deviating from question wording, and falsifying data. The paper provides an in-depth picture of field interviewer behavior that has been conventionally hidden from observation. The SCFL is sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.