A Case Study of Error in Survey Reports of Move Month Using the U.S. Postal Service Change of Address Records

Mary H. Mulry, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC
Elizabeth M. Nichols, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC
Jennifer Hunter Childs, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC

Correctly recalling where someone lived as of a particular date is critical to the accuracy of the once-a-decade U.S. decennial census. The data collection period for the 2010 Census occurred over the course of a few months: February to August, with some evaluation operations occurring up to 7 months after that. The assumption was that respondents could accurately remember moves and move dates on and around April 1st up to 11 months afterwards. We show how statistical analyses can be used to investigate the validity of this assumption by comparing self-reports and proxy-reports of the month of a move in …

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Measuring the survey climate: the Flemish case

Sara Barbier, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Leuven, Belgium
Geert Loosveldt, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Leuven, Belgium
Ann Carton, Research Centre of the Flemish Government, Belgium

Researchers in several countries have regularly reported decreasing response rates for surveys and the need for increased efforts in order to attain an acceptable response rate: two things that can be seen as signs of a worsening survey climate. At the same time, differences between countries and surveys with regard to the actual level and evolution of response rates have also been noted. Some of these differences are probably linked to differences in the survey content or design. This may hinder the study of the evolving survey climate over time, based on different surveys in different countries, because more readily …

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Web survey experiments on fully balanced, minimally balanced and unbalanced rating scales

Mingnan Liu, SurveyMonkey, Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.
Sarah Cho, SurveyMonkey, Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.

When asking attitudinal questions with dichotomous and mutually exclusive response options, the questions can be presented in one of three ways: a full balanced question, a minimally balanced question, and an unbalanced question. Although previous research has compared the fully vs. minimally balanced rating scales, as far as we know, these three types of rating scales have not been tested in a strict experimental setting. In this study, we report two web survey experiments testing these three types of rating scales among 16 different questions. Different from most previous studies, this study used visual display only without any auditory component. …

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Comparing smartphones to tablets for face-to-face interviewing in Kenya

Sarah M. Hughes, Mathematica Policy Research, U.S.
Samuel Haddaway, Yale School of Management, U.S.
Hanzhi Zhou, Mathematica Policy Research, U.S.

Research conducted over the past 30 years has demonstrated a reduction in errors and improvement in data quality when face–to-face social surveys are carried out using computers instead of paper and pencil. However, research examining the quality of data collected by interviewers using mobile devices is in its infancy and is based in developed countries. In a small pilot study conducted during the World Bank’s Kenya State of the Cities Baseline Survey, a face-to-face survey on living conditions, infrastructure and service delivery, the authors compared the quality of data collected using smartphones to data collected using tablets. The study of …

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Altering the Survey-taking Climate: The Case of the 2010 U.S. Census

Ting Yan (Westat) Maryland, U.S.
A. Rupa Datta (NORC at the University of Chicago), Illinois U.S.

Response rates to household surveys have been declining in the past several decades and survey researchers and practitioners have been working on ways to change the survey-taking climate to combat the declining response rates. As part of the 2010 Decennial Census, the U.S. Census Bureau waged the 2010 Integrated Communications Campaign (2010 ICC), a multi-faceted effort to improve public awareness of, attitudes towards, and knowledge about the Census in order to increase Census participation. This type of communications program is a unique case of an attempt to alter the external survey-taking climate and thus potentially affect survey participation. This paper …

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