Keynote and special session

Actions, Interactions, and Interviewer Training:

Suggestions from an Interactional Model of the Recruitment Call

Nora Cate Schaeffer

Although many data collection efforts rely on self-administered web, CASI, and paper instruments for some or all of the self-reports that they obtain, interviewers still perform key functions on important statistical and research surveys in obtaining cooperation and consent – in addition to performing traditional and innovative data collection tasks. Early models of decisions to participate focused on the decision processes of the interviewer and respondent separately. This psychological model of decision making is complemented by interactional models that examine the actions of each party, the structure and features of the actions, and how they are ordered in interaction. An interactional model is oriented toward conversational practices, the actions that compose them, and how they are deployed to serve the goals of research interviewing. Because of this orientation, an interactional model suggests research topics and experiments that have implications for field protocols and for training interviewers. In addition, such a model directs attention to the context of the interaction created by the field protocol (e.g., advance letters), mode (e.g., telephone or face-to-face), population (e.g., younger or older) and technology (e.g., landline or cell). I use an interactional model of the recruitment call to describe what we know about actions in which we want to train interviewers (e.g., introduce themselves, describe the study). By examining the path of interaction in the recruitment call, we also identify specific locations with possible implications for the field protocol, for example, sample members who say "not interested" and the exit from a refusal call.

Special Session: interviewer behaviour

Dr. Schaeffer’s talk introduces the topic of our special session on interviewer behaviour. Authors are encouraged to share their analyses and theories on the relation between technology, question characteristics, rules of standardization, conversations practices, respondent interaction with interviewer behaviour or interviewer variability. Papers contributing to this session could present research pertaining to the effects of field protocols and interviewer training, or the relation between interviewer behaviour and data quality.