KRISTEN MILLER and STEPHANIE WILLSON
National Center for Health Statistics
J. MICHAEL RYAN
The American University in Cairo
Cognitive interviewing studies serve multiple functions toward understanding the performance of a survey question. First, the studies identify various difficulties that respondents may experience when attempting to answer a survey question. Identifying these difficulties allows the survey questionnaire to be improved before fielding. In addition, cognitive interviewing studies are a study of construct validity in that they identify the content or experiences that respondents consider and ultimately include in their answer. Finally, cognitive interviewing studies can examine issues of comparability, for example, the accuracy of translations or equivalence across socio-cultural groups. The type of analytic processes employed within a cognitive interviewing study guides the types of conclusions that can be made. This chapter articulates the process of analysis for cognitive interviewing studies and illustrates how the three research goals outlined above can be met. The method of analysis outlined in this chapter is rooted within the principles of qualitative methodology, specifically, within grounded theory methodology.
Researchers have analyzed cognitive interviews in a variety of ways (e.g., Bolton 1991; Chi 1997; Sudman et al. 1996). Other than Willis (2005), however, who describes how question ...