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Working Paper Number rsm2019-10
Jonathan Katz, Jessica Holzberg, Mary Davis
Component ID: #ti339066942


The Center for Behavioral Science Methods (CBSM) conducted cognitive testing of comment/feedback items as part of the American Community Survey (ACS) respondent comment/feedback project. The purpose of testing was to develop wording that would allow ACS respondents to provide their feedback at the end of the survey rather than having to directly call the Census Bureau via phone, e-mail, or mail. Paper and web mock-up versions of the item were both tested; versions differed by wording and formatting (inclusion of black tab with word “Thank You”). Participants were asked to provide their thoughts and answer questions about the different versions.

Testing found that participants were able to understand the purpose of each of the feedback items and what type of comments they could provide. The type of comments included respondent experience, positive or negative feedback, survey questions, survey length, and any personal or privacy concerns. Participants had a positive reaction to the black tab with the word “Thank You” as they viewed it as a sign of appreciation for completing the survey. The final recommendation for the comment/feedback item wording was “You may use the space below to share any comments about your experience with the survey” with a black “Thank You” tab included on the page.

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