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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Cellular Telephone Methodology: Present and Future

David Dutwin

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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About This Course:

The growth of the percent of the U.S. population that only owns cellular telephones continues unabated. The major difference between cellular and landline telephones, from a sampling perspective, is that cellular telephones at present contain very little accompanying data. For landlines, one can append a name and an exact address to about half the sample, and for the remainder, a zip code that is reasonably accurate. As well, one can append mean demographic information for the residents of a telephone exchange, such as race, income and age. And finally, listed information can be appended with the race, age, and many other demographics of the potential respondents associated with each telephone number. These tools have afforded great power for researchers to sample landlines with a high degree of geographic accuracy and the ability to oversample or cluster interviews by a range of geographic and demographic properties.

Cell phones, however, have no comparable data: They are, grossly, a blank slate. How then does one oversample for respondents of specific geographies or demographics? Gain an understanding of the expected incidence and coverage? Sample at the local level? Is there hope for listed information on cellphones?

It has been suggested that the future of telephone survey research will not include landline telephones. What criteria are there by which such a decision might be made? And, “where do we stand” on such criteria and where might things be in five to ten years?

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn of the options available to conduct research with cell phones samples at a local level, and at a state-wide or national sample while oversampling for select populations of interest.
  • Learn of the costs and benefits of screening cell phone samples with a variety of techniques.
  • Gain an understanding of the issues, challenges, and considerations with regard to the future of telephonic research.

About the Instructor:

ImageDavid Dutwin is Executive Vice President and Chief Methodologist of SSRS. He is co-chair of the AAPOR Special Task Force on Survey Refusals, a current member of the Standards Committee and student paper winner in 2002. In addition to his position at SSRS he is an adjunct professor at West Chester University and Methodologist for JPAR/Jewish Policy and Action Research. David has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication.