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Reasons for refusals, their collection in surveys and interviewer impact

[working paper]

Menold, Natalja; Zuell, Cornelia

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Corporate Editor GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Abstract "Refusals are a significant source of non-response in surveys. During field periods of some surveys reasons for refusals are collected in call record data (as part of para-data). This article presents a study employing a content analysis of open-ended comments on reasons for refusals collected by interviewers in a survey of the German population (ALLBUS). We analysed the reasons for refusals contained in these comments, as well as to what extent these comments include information about factors relevant to participation in surveys. Additionally, we analysed the impact of interviewer characteristics – gender, age, education and experience – on data collection using various multilevel multinomial models. The results show that interviewer comments provide typical reasons for refusals, as well as specific information about target persons, their environment and the survey process. Interviewers' age and education influenced the collection of reasons for refusals. At the same time interviewer variances (obtained through multinomial multilevel models) were very high, showing that interviewers prefer to report certain reasons for refusals. The highest interviewer level variances were obtained for providing no comments at all. To improve data quality and reduce high interviewer impact, we suggest using improved standardised instruments to collect reasons for refusals. Codings based on a categorisation scheme which we developed for our content analysis show high reliability (kappa = .81). Thus, this scheme can be used as a basis for developing such standardised instruments." (author's abstract)
Keywords survey; response behavior; ALLBUS; interview; reactivity effect
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Method basic research; development of methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
City Mannheim
Page/Pages 35 p.
Series GESIS-Working Papers, 2010/11
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications