Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.20, No.2, 2004. pp. 319340

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Using Vignettes in Cognitive Research on Establishment Surveys

The use of vignettes in questionnaire development for household and demographics surveys is well documented and diverse. Vignettes are often presented as short narratives that describe a particular situation of interest. Respondents are asked to interpret the situation and then apply it to the survey instrument being studied.

Vignettes have not been as well documented in establishment survey cognitive testing. This article reviews the household and establishment literature on the use of vignettes. Next, we present some examples from the U.S. Census Bureau of vignettes that were modified from the traditional household design to accommodate the establishment survey setting. Finally, we discuss the characteristics of vignettes, and how they might be used effectively, particularly in establishment surveys.

Mock records, pretesting, questionnaire development, household vs. establishment

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