Interpersonal Perceptions and Interviewer Effects in Face-to-Face Surveys

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Simon Kühne

In: Sociological Methods & Research (online first) (2020), 0,


Survey interviewers can negatively affect survey data by introducing variance and bias into estimates. When investigating these interviewer effects, research typically focuses on interviewer sociodemographics with only a few studies examining the effects of characteristics that are not directly visible such as interviewer attitudes, opinions, and personality. For the study at hand, self-reports of 1,212 respondents and 116 interviewers, as well as their interpersonal perceptions of each other, were collected in a large-scale, face-to-face survey of households in Germany. Respondents and interviewers were presented with the same questions regarding their opinions and mutual perceptions toward social and political issues in Germany. Analyses show that interviewer effects can be largely explained by how an interviewer is seen by respondents. This indicates that some respondents adjust their answers toward anticipated interviewer opinions. Survey practitioners ought to acknowledge this in their survey design and training of interviewers.

Keywords: interviewer effects, interviewing, face-to-face surveys, sensitive questions
Externer Link: