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Report on Topic-based Mode Consistency CATI/CAPI Pretesting Study in the American Community Survey (ACS)

Anna Y. Chan



The main objective of this pretesting study was to find out whether the implementation of a topic-based format for the collection of demographic data is operationally feasible in the automated computer assisted instruments (CAI) of the American Community Survey (ACS). This study tested the structure and the flow of the topic-based format on the name, relationship to householder, sex, date of birth and age, race and Hispanic origin questions in the ACS’s automated instruments. A total of 13 cognitive interviews were conducted in this study. Overall, our findings suggest that the newly designed topic-based format for the CAI instruments works effectively and the test respondents have no difficulty with the new format. The front end topic-based demographics section transitions smoothly to the next section where the questions collect household characteristics. We recommend that the topic-based format as tested be implemented in the basic demographics section for the 2007 ACS field test.


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

Created: March 6, 2007
Last revised: March 6, 2007

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