The virtual interviewer

In 2002 a fundamental change of the Dutch National Readership Survey took place. Sample procedures, questions and method of data collection were all together changed at the same time. Based on one-year experience with the new methods and several additional experiments we can outline the consequences of the chosen approach and unravel “which change causes what effect?â€? We will concentrate on one main theme in our paper: the change from CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) to CASI (computer assisted self interviewing). CASI makes the interviewer obsolete and as a consequence ‘response-effects’ are strongly diminished. This last term refers to factors which influence or distort the responses such as socio-economic characteristics of the interviewer, the social desirability of the response alternatives and the way questions are formulated.

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