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2010 ACS Content Test Evaluation: Behavior Coding Results

Joanne Pascale, Patricia Goerman, and Katherine Drom


In 2010 the American Community Survey (ACS) Content Test was carried out to serve as a large-scale test of changes to existing questions that were designed to enhance data quality, and to evaluate alternative ways of asking about new topic areas. The questions being tested were in the topic areas of food stamps, public assistance income, wages and interest income, veterans’ identification, period of military service, computers, internet access and subscriptions, and parental place of birth. In order to test these questions, they were inserted into the existing ACS questionnaire and two versions were developed – a “control” and a “test” version. This report focuses on the behavior coding of recordings of a sample of CATI and CAPI interviews from the ACS Content Test. Behavior coding is a pretesting method that involves the systematic application of standardized codes to behaviors that interviewers and respondents display during the question/response process. This research also serves as the pilot project for the Census Bureau’s new Computer Audio Recorded Interviewing (CARI) system.


Joanne Pascale, Patricia Goerman, and Katherine Drom. (2013). 2010 ACS Content Test Evaluation: Behavior Coding Results. Center for Survey Measurement Study Series (Survey Methodology #2013-07). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <>.

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

Published online: March 7, 2013
Last revised: March 7, 2013


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