Dependent Interviewing and Sub-Optimal Responding

Johannes Eggs, Annette Jäckle

Abstract


With proactive dependent interviewing (PDI) respondents are reminded of the answer they gave in the previous interview, before being asked about their current status. PDI is used in panel surveys to assist respondent recall and reduce spurious changes in responses over time. PDI may however provide scope for new errors if respondents falsely accept the previous information as still being an accurate description of their current situation. In this paper we use data from the German Labour Market and Social Security panel study, in which an error was made with the preload data for a PDI question about receipt of welfare benefit. The survey data were linked to individual administrative records on receipt of welfare benefit. A large proportion of respondents accepted the false preload. This behaviour seems mainly driven by the difficulty of the response task: respondents with a more complex history of receipt according to the records were more likely to confirm the false preload. Personality also seemed related to the probability of confirming. Predictors of satisficing, indicators of satisficing on other items in the survey, and characteristics of the survey and interviewer were not predictive of confirming the false preload.

Keywords


measurement error; validation; record linkage; panel survey; welfare benefit; satisficing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18148/srm/2015.v9i1.5860

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