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Costs of Paradata, Again

Still on this topic... We looked at the average time to complete a set of questions. These actions may be repeated many times (each time we have contact with a sampled household), but it still amounts to a trivial portion of total interviewer time (about .4%). They don't have to add much value to justify those costs.

On the other hand, there are still a couple of questions. 1) Could we reduce measurement error on these questions if we spent more time on them? Brady West has looked at ways to improve these observations. If a few seconds isn't enough time, would more time improve the measurements?

My hunch is that more time would improve the observations, but it would have other consequences. Which leads me to my second question: 2) Do these observations interfere with other parts of the survey process? For example, can they distract interviewers from the task of convincing sampled persons to do the interview?  My hunch on the latter question is that it is possible, but our current practice is unobtrusive. I'd also hazard a guess that interviewers see it as less important that getting the interview.

Again, it would probably require experiments to determine whether these "other consequences" might occur.

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