Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.14, No.1, 1998. pp. 114

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Data Collection Mode Effects on Responses to Attitudinal Questions

A study comparing two data collection modes - pencil and paper (PAPI), and computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) - is reported. The study was part of the British Social Attitudes survey, an annual survey involving personal interviews, consisting mainly of attitude and opinion questions, in respondents' homes. In 1993, half the sample was assigned to each mode. This is the first large-scale study in the U.K. to permit direct assessment of CAPI/PAPI mode effects. Little evidence is found of mode effects on propensity to respond, or to agree to be reinterviewed. There is, however, strong evidence of effects on response patterns. CAPI respondents are more likely to choose extreme categories to answer scales and less likely to answer "don't know.' There are also differences in scale means. Interview length is slightly shorter with CAPI.

Attitude questions; computer assisted interviewing; data collection modes; interview length; response rates; response effects.

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