Chapter 2

Respondent–Survey Interaction

Abstract

This chapter introduces the concept of survey error, which consists of errors of nonobservation and errors of observation (measurement error). We discuss how measurement error in particular affects the quality of data we collect from surveys, and how survey researchers are interested in preventing or reducing error. We describe the four cognitive processes respondents use to answer survey questions: comprehension, retrieval, judgement, and response. We then describe the key components of the respondent–survey interaction: interpreting the design, completing actions and navigating, and processing feedback. We show how understanding the way that respondents comprehend survey questions and interact ...

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