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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Cognitive Interviewing in Online Modes: a Comparison of Data Collected in Second Life and Skype
Year 2013
Access date 31.05.2013

Cognitive interviewing can identify potential errors in a survey prior to a large data collection effort allowing researchers to effectively pretest a draft survey instrument. Digital technologies afford researchers the opportunity to overcome geographic and logistical limitations of conducting these interviews with a diverse sample. The convenience of interviewing participants online includes reduced travel time and the ability to schedule interviews outside of normal business hours, reducing participant burden with certain populations including online users. The Second Life population was of interest to researchers in this study. Second Life is a virtual world where users self-represent through avatars. Purposes of play include socializing, entertainment and education. New technologies such as the virtual world Second Life and the voice-overinternet software Skype were utilized to conduct cognitive interviews pretesting a draft instrument on virtual world avatar similarity. A series of questions asked participants to describe several physical and personality characteristics of both themselves and their avatars. The goal of this questionnaire was to determine the extent to which SL users viewed their avatars as similar to their real life counterparts. Interviews were conducted in three modes: Second Life, Skype and face-to-face. To determine the feasibility of conducting cognitive interviews digitally, analyses were conducted to compare data quality across each mode; analyses identified the number, type and severity of errors detected. Preliminary findings suggest that interviews conducted in Skype and Second Life yield, on average, the same number of errors. Comparison data are presented from all three modes. Second Life and Skype can be used to conduct cognitive interviews with a sample of online participants, though each mode has its own consideration and limitations for study design and implementation. These implications are discussed and recommendations explored for researchers interested in other digital cognitive interviewing modes.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations