KRISTEN MILLER and STEPHANIE WILLSON
National Center for Health Statistics
University of Granada, Spain
The primary purpose of this book has been to put forward a methodological practice for conducting cognitive interviewing studies. By extension, the book conveys a broader picture of the advantages and benefits of performing cognitive interviewing studies within the context of survey research. Traditionally, the method has been used as a tool to identify question design “flaws.” In this capacity, cognitive interviews provide survey managers an opportunity to pre-test questions—to see if respondents experience difficulty when answering their questions. If problems are identified, questions can presumably be “fixed” or “tweaked” before fielding. As a scientific methodology, however, cognitive interviewing studies provide a much more extensive and valuable contribution to the field.
Cognitive interviewing methodology provides an understanding of the way in which survey questions perform, specifically the phenomena (i.e., the construct) represented in resulting statistics. In that the method identifies the content or experiences considered in respondents' answers, it addresses construct validity. In that the method allows for analysis of interpretive patterns across groups, it addresses comparability, effective in determining accuracy of translations and equivalence across socio-cultural groups. ...