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Improving Survey Quality through Pretesting

SM98-03
Theresa J. DeMaio
Component ID: #ti500226536

Introduction

As the vehicle of data collection, the questionnaire is one of the critical components in achieving high quality in a survey. The best of sampling schemes and estimation strategies will not yield accurate data if the answers provided by the respondent are not meaningful. During the last decade or so, there has been increased emphasis on building quality into the questionnaire design process through pretesting. This has been approached from an operational perspective in Federal government agencies (DeMaio, 1983; DeMaio et al, 1993; Willis, 1994; Dippo and Norwood, 1992) but it has been informed by theoretical work in the areas of cognitive psychology (Tourangeau, 1984; Ericsson and Simon, 1980, 1984) and social psychology (Cannell, Fowler, and Marquis, 1968; Turner and Martin, 1984).

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