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Are Interviewer Effects on Interview Speed Related to Interviewer Effects on Straight-Lining Tendency in the European Social Survey? An Interviewer-Related Analysis

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

It can be expected that interview speed and straight-lining tendency are related: a higher speed can lead to an increase in cognitive difficulty, which might be coped with by straight-lining; whereas, straight-lining can decrease response latency and hence increase the interview speed. Previous research shows that interview speed is influenced by the interviewer. Straight-lining tendency and other satisficing symptoms have also been shown to be subject to interviewer effects, albeit to a smaller extent. In the first step in this paper, we analyze interviewer effects on interview speed and straight-lining in one module of the European Social Survey, round 7. We then study the correlation between interview speed and straight-lining, without determining causality, and separate this into an interviewer-level and respondent-level correlation. The results confirm previous findings: a large intra-interviewer correlation coefficient for interview speed and a smaller intra-interviewer correlation coefficient for straight-lining. Further, the results show a significant positive correlation in nine out of fifteen countries at the respondent level and in five (different) countries at the interviewer level. The latter indicates that “fast” interviewers are the ones carrying out interviews during which more straight-lining occurs.
Journal: Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology
ISSN: 2325-0984
Issue: 4
Volume: 6
Pages: 516 - 538
Publication year:2017