Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.22, No.3, 2006. pp. 419–451

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Methods of Behavior Coding of Survey Interviews

Comparing 48 different coding schemes, we attempt to give an exhaustive overview of all methods of behavior coding of survey interviews. Coding can take place at the level of the utterance, of the exchange or of the whole question–answer sequence. If the sequence is used as a coding unit, the complexity of the coding scheme will be low but so will the amount of information in the data. If the utterance is used as a coding unit, it is possible to apply full coding (i.e., all utterances are coded) or selective coding (only relevant utterances are coded). Full coding of utterances with preservation of sequence information is by far the most labor-intensive but also the most informative, as a lot of information can be derived from sequence analyses. In that case it is advisable to use a multivariate coding scheme. More simple coding schemes are advised when frequency analyses are applied.

Survey interviewing, question–answer sequence, interviewer monitoring, pre-testing methods, interaction analysis

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