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Report of Cognitive Testing of Decennial Long Form Developed by 212 Associates

Karen Bogen, Meredith Lee, and Theresa DeMaio

KEY WORDS: cognitive testing; decennial census; long form; read-aloud technique; skip instructions; icons

ABSTRACT

Cognitive interviews (n = 12) were conducted to evaluate respondentsí navigation through the decennial long form, as well as their response to the icons, fold in the form, and envelope. Respondents were instructed to read the form aloud as they completed it and then prepare it to be mailed back. Respondents were then debriefed. Results showed that: 1) traditional skip instructions placed in italics to the right of an answer choice produced incorrect navigation at times; 2) embedded skip instructions produced confusion at times, especially when the question should have been skipped; 3) icons produced neutral affect and were generally ignored, but respondents thought they should be included anyway; 4) respondents had difficulty unfolding the form to its full width and refolding it correctly, causing omission of data; and 5) respondents preferred the envelope with color over the black-and-white one. Respondentsí interpretations of each question are also discussed.

CITATION:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: May 2, 2007
Last revised: May 2, 2007


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or chad.eric.russell@census.gov) |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010