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Survey automation

report and workshop proceedings


Description

For over 100 years, the evolution of modern survey methodology--using the theory of representative sampling to make inferences from a part of the population to the whole--has been paralleled by a drive toward automation, harnessing technology and computerization to make parts of the survey process easier, faster, and better. The availability of portable computers in the late 1980s ushered in computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPl), in which interviewers administer a survey instrument to respondents using a computerized version of the questionnaire on a portable laptop computer. Computer assisted interviewing (CAI) methods have proven to be extremely useful and beneficial in survey administration. However, the practical problems encountered in documentation and testing CAI instruments suggest that this is an opportune time to reexamine not only the process of developing CAI instruments but also the future directions of survey automation writ large.


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