Survey Guidelines

Interviewer Effects in Standardized Surveys

Concerns about interviewer effects in interviewer-mediated surveys have accompanied survey research for a long time. As interviewers are involved in nearly all aspects of the survey implementation process, they can affect almost all types of survey errors, including sampling error, nonresponse error, measurement error, and, to a lesser extent, error resulting from the coding and editing of survey responses. Building on the existing literature, this survey guideline provides an overview of interviewer effects and their estimation. It consists of two parts: first, an introductory text using the total survey error (TSE) paradigm as a theoretical framework to provide a general overview of interviewer effects; second, a brief introduction to calculating interviewer effects using multilevel analyses.

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