In search of a respondent

The most recent National Readership Study or NRS as it is popularly referred to in India has just been completed. The response rate achieved has been a staggering 92%. This is a remarkable improvement over the NRS done in 1990 when 30% non-response was experienced. The most obvious reason for the increased response is the methodological changes in sampling that has been incorporated since 1990. These changes relate to the substitution of those households, which were originally chosen randomly for the study but could not be located. This paper examines the impact of this substitution policy (to improve the response rate) on the composition of the sample and measurement of readership. More importantly, it attempts to identify other environmental or societal reasons for refusal of a chosen individual to respond to a NRS interview. To do this, the paper examined the profile of non-responders in NRS’99, conducted group discussions amongst NRS non-responders and interviewers to develop hypothesis. Finally the paper discusses results of two small studies conducted to identify discriminating psychographic characteristics of non respondents and also the impact of an incentive offer of an altruistic credit ( certain sum donated on their behalf to charity).

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