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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
131st CNSTAT Public Seminar

"Taking Surveys to People's Technology: Implications for Federal Statistics and Social Science Research"

October 21, 2016

Abstract: People’s modes of communication and available communications technologies don’t stand still. Correspondingly, survey methodology must never stand still, even though institutional constraints (and inertia) can lead survey organizations to maintain long-standing methods well beyond their peak utility. Fred Conrad and Michael Schober are involved in cutting-edge research on different ways, including texting, to conduct surveys via smartphones. They will discuss research findings on data quality and participation in interviews on smartphones carried out via voice (standard call center interviewing) versus text messaging, by human interviewers and by automated interviewing systems. They will also discuss findings on how giving respondents the choice of interview mode on their smartphone can affect costs, respondent burden, and the quantity and quality of data that can be collected. They will conclude by posing new tradeoffs that will be important to consider in multi-mode surveys on modern devices. Discussants will consider the implications for the future of federal statistical agency surveys and social science polling.



"Taking Surveys to People’s Technology: Implications for Federal Statistics and Social Science Research"
Frederick Conrad, University of Michigan Survey Research Center
Michael Schober, New School for Social Research


Discussion Slides
Paul Beatty
, U.S. Census Bureau

Discussion Slides
Courtney Kennedy, Pew Research Center

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