Interviewer Behaviour and Interviewer Effects
Interviewers are a key part in data collection for face-to-face surveys. The involvement of interviewers in data collection activities means that desirable interviewer behaviour (DIB) is fundamental for collecting high quality and comparable data. All ESS countries are required to conduct face-to-face personal interviews (see Modes of data collection), which makes the promotion of DIB a fundamental part of the core survey activities. For this purpose, the ESS conducts research on:
- how interviewer behaviour can affect measurement; and
- how interviewer behaviour can affect the representation of the target population.
The insights gained from this research will be used to implement measures for improving data quality. The research output is categorised in three areas, which are integrated into the survey life cycle:
- Preparation and prevention, such as survey standards for interviewers' work, training of interviewers for fieldwork, and collecting meaningful paradata fit for the purpose of quality control.
- Monitoring and detection, such as accuracy, robustness and timeliness of quality checks during fieldwork, development of systems for cross-national monitoring of interviewer activities, and impact of interventions in the field.
- Assessment and evaluation, such as intra-interviewer correlation of survey measurements, adherence to contact strategies and selection procedures, disentanglement of interviewer effects and area effects, clarification of relation between poor data quality and interviewer behaviour.