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Showing posts from September, 2010

"Responsive Design" and "Adaptive Design"

My dissertation was entitled "Adaptive Survey Design to Reduce Nonresponse Bias." I had been working for several years on "responsive designs" before that. As I was preparing my dissertation, I really saw "adaptive" design as a subset of responsive design.

Since then, I've seen both terms used in different places. As both terms are relatively new, there is likely to be confusion about the meanings. I thought I might offer my understanding of the terms, for what it's worth.

The term "responsive design" was developed by Groves and Heeringa (2006). They coined the term, so I think their definition is the one that should be used. They defined "responsive design" in the following way:

1. Preidentify a set of design features that affect cost and error tradeoffs.
2. Identify indicators for these costs and errors. Monitor these during data collection.
3. Alter the design features based on pre-identified decision rules based on the indi…

Interviewer Variance in Face-to-Face Surveys

There have been several important studies of interviewer variance in face-to-face surveys. O'Muircheartaigh and Campanelli (1998) report on a study that used an interpenetrated design to evaluate the impact of interviewers on variance estimates.

There are also studies that show interviewers vary in their ability to establish contact (Campanelli et al., Can you hear me knocking? 1999) and elicit response (Durrant, Groves, Staetsky, Steele, 2010).

Although O'Muricheartaigh and Campanelli  account for the clustering of the sample design, they don't account for differences in response (due to contact or refusal). It may be that variation in response rates or the composition of response may explain some (certainly not all) of the interviewer variation.

If that is the case, then attempting to control interviewer recruitment protocols (like call timing) might help reduce interviewer variance.