Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The interviewer contribution to variability in response times in face-to-face interview surveys

Sturgis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1180-3493, Maslovskaya, Olga, Durrant, Gabriele and Brunton-Smith, Ian (2021) The interviewer contribution to variability in response times in face-to-face interview surveys. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 9 (4). 701 - 721. ISSN 2325-0984

[img] Text (Paper_Revised_V2_Dec19) - Accepted Version
Download (408kB)

Identification Number: 10.1093/jssam/smaa009


Survey researchers have consistently found that interviewers make a small but systematic contribution to variability in response times. However, we know little about what the characteristics of interviewers are that lead to this effect. In this study, we address this gap in understanding by linking item-level response times from wave 3 of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (UKHLS) to data from an independently conducted survey of interviewers. The linked data file contains over three million records and has a complex, hierarchical structure with response latencies nested within respondents and questions, which are themselves nested within interviewers and areas. We propose the use of a cross-classified mixed-effects location scale model to allow for the decomposition of the joint effects on response times of interviewers, areas, questions, and respondents. We evaluate how interviewer demographic characteristics, personality, and attitudes to surveys and to interviewing affect the length of response latencies and present a new method for producing interviewer-specific intra-class correlations of response times. Hence, the study makes both methodological and substantive contributions to the investigation of response times.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2021 08:57
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:02

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics