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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Cellular Telephone Methods: Evolutions and Improvements

David Dutwin
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
12:00 - 1:30 PM CDT/ 1:00 - 2:30 PM EDT/ 10:00 - 11:30 AM PDT

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About This Course:


We are fast approaching the time where a typical telephone survey might not dial a single landline telephone number.  The shift to cell phones has a number of important practical implications for sampling, operationalizing, and weighting/estimating of telephone surveys.  Cell phones, as has been well documented, are less geographically precise compared to landlines; as well, there is far less appendable data with which to sample and identify potential survey respondents.  Thus at the same time, survey methodologists wanting to conduct surveys of small populations or small geographies (or both) have less tools at their disposal and by definition must get more creative in their designs.

An earlier version of this webinar was presented in early 2014 and again in 2015…and much has changed in the past few years.  Listed sample is far more widely available; options in geographic targeting have developed and in many ways, matured; scrubbing procedures continue to evolve; response rates have continued to drop; and more Americans have moved since first purchasing their landline. 

This webinar will review and revise insight revealed in prior webinars, and aim to make assessments on the future of cell phone surveying for general population research generally, and small area and/or small population research specifically.

Outline of course:

  • History of Telephony and the Development of Cell Phones
  • The Nature and Efficacy of Cellular Rate Centers
  • The Efficacy and Application of Billing Zip Codes and other Geo-targeting Techniques
  • The Efficacy and Application of Recent Activity Flags and other Scrubbing Techniques
  • Listed Database Options
  • Trends in Cellular Response, 2008 – Present
  • Cell Phone Mobility

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:

David Dutwin
is Executive Vice President and Chief Methodologist at SSRS, where his primary responsibilities include executive vision and strategy, project acquisition and oversight, statistical estimation, and management of advanced research methods. He is a Senior Fellow of the Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as a Senior Lecturer. Particular areas of focus include election polling and modelling; low incidence research methods; Hispanic and Jewish population research; non-probabilistic sample modelling; address-based designs; small-area dual-frame telephonic approaches; and considerations of total survey error. An avid member of the AAPOR community, David is currently the Vice President, was 2016 Conference Chair, and has served full terms on a number of committees including Standards, Communications, Student Paper, and Heritage. He was the co-chair of the 2014 AAPOR Special Task Force on Survey Refusals, and the Seymour Sudman Student Paper award winner at the 2002 national AAPOR conference. David has also contributed to AAPOR education in teaching multiple short courses and webinars. David attained his doctorate from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. For over fifteen years, he has taught Research Methods, Rhetorical Theory, Media Effects and other courses as an Adjunct Professor at multiple universities including the University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, and the University of Arizona.