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Cognitive Testing Report of Notice of Visit Flyer and Questions about Administrative Records Linkage

Michelle Smirnova


In order to facilitate the successful administration of the census and collect information about the U.S. population, the U.S. Census Bureau must be able to ensure respondents’ comprehension of survey materials, cooperation in the process, and potential acceptance of alternative modes of data collection. The present study seeks to measure comprehension of two crucial parts of this process. The first part involves testing the comprehension of the “Notice of Visit,” a flyer that is left at the homes of respondents who did not complete the initial enumeration are unavailable for the nonresponse followup enumerator’s visit. The second part of this study tests the acceptance by respondents of data sharing between the Census Bureau and other government and non-government agencies through a number of attitudinal questions.

The first part of the study tested a revised decennial census Notice of Visit flyer for the 2013 Census test. The flyer was tested for comprehension and respondents’ comfort with the response options that are listed on the flyer (i.e., telephone or online). The second part of the study tested a series of questions that are part of an ongoing telephone-administered survey about trust in governmental statistical agencies. These questions ask how the respondent feels about the Census Bureau supplementing survey information with data from administrative records of other governmental agencies or non-governmental companies. After initial preferences were gauged, a series of social benefits of the census were explained to respondents to see if these advantages would affect a more favorable change in their opinion. Several framings of the social benefits of using administrative data were also tested with the hopes of identifying more powerful frames that may be used in future communications campaigns to promote cooperation with the decennial census and the Census Bureau more generally.


Michelle Smirnova. (2013). Cognitive Testing Report of Notice of Visit Flyer and Questions about Administrative Records Linkage. Center for Survey Measurement Study Series (Survey Methodology #2013-20). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Research and Methodology Directorate, Center for Survey Measurement

Published online: July 16, 2013
Last revised: July 16, 2013


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Research and Methodology Directorate | Center for Survey Measurement | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: September 11, 2013