Chapter

Survey Modes

in The Total Survey Error Approach

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780226891279
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226891293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226891293.003.0003
Survey Modes

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Two basic distinctions between survey modes are developed in this chapter, after which some related research approaches are discussed. Computer-assisted survey information collection and Internet surveys are described in detail. There are two important distinctions to make about survey modes. One is how personal they are in terms of the extent of interviewer involvement: whether the survey is self-administered or interviewer administered. Face-to-face and telephone surveys are generally interviewer administered. Face-to-face interviews are usually in the respondents' natural surroundings, as when interviewers go to people's homes or offices. Skillful interviewers can usually get a high response rate and can conduct very high-quality interviews. It is harder to exercise quality control because these interviews are usually not monitored, though even monitoring is possible with modern recording technology. The response rate and interview quality are generally lower in phone interviews. Telephone surveys can be conducted out of a central telephone facility (a “calling center”), which improves quality control since a supervisor can oversee the process. The data can be collected much faster than with mail surveys or face-to-face interviews, which is important to clients who want daily updates.

Keywords: survey modes; research; quality control; interviews; face-to-face interviews; technology

Chapter.  5463 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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