In cognitive pretests, we evaluate the comprehensibility of questions, identify problems respondents may have in answering, and generate constructive suggestions for eliminating such problems. The pretests can be conducted in person, by phone, or by video conference. The questions can be tested in all common survey modes (face-to-face, phone, paper-and-pencil, online).
Optionally, cognitive interviews that take place in the laboratory, can be supplemented by eye-tracking. This offers the possibility to follow and record (live) the eye movements of subjects. Our research findings suggest that this procedure helps to discover additional problems with questions (Neuert & Lenzner, 2015a, 2015b).
How do we conduct cognitive pretests?
- With small samples of 10 to 30 participants
- The individual interviews are limited to approx. 60 minutes
- Approx. 20 questions or items can be cognitively tested during an interview