Keeping panel respondents fit and willing

Date of publication: September 1, 1989

Company: NIPO


In this paper we will discuss the quality of the data obtained by using computerised interviewing in a panel situation. For this form of research some extra advantages of computerised interviewing can be obtained. It will first be shown for data on income that the quality of the data is already on a high level, with important advantages because of the panel character when compared to ad hoc research. However from the same analysis follows that for policy relevant conclusions the quality of the data, and therefore of the questionnaire should be improved further. Another equally important aspect for panel research is that interviewees will become bored and irritated by exposure to similar questionnaires on a regular basis. Especially when they perceive little or no change in the answers they are providing. This may affect increased dropout and panel mortality, thereby reducing the usefulness and lifecycle of the panel. In the last part of the paper we will go into the improvements that may be obtained in computerised panel research by using information retained from previous interviews, when collecting new data.

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