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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Current Developments in Cognitive Testing of Survey Questions

Gordon B. Willis, PhD
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
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:

Cognitive testing of survey questionnaires has become somewhat of a standard practice in item development, pretesting, and evaluation. However, the method continues to evolve in order to keep pace with the changing world of survey data collection, especially given recent technological developments in the field. The current Webinar will discuss several recent methodological advances, including (a) the use of internet-based technologies, and including interviewer-less “web probing”; and (b) cognitive testing of across languages, cultures, and national contexts. Dr. Willis will also touch upon the types of methodological developments in pretesting that would benefit the field, moving forward.

Webinar Level:


Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about developments in the use of Web Probing and remote cognitive testing generally
  • Become acquainted with cognitive testing in cross-cultural contexts
  • Consider future methodological research directions

About the Instructors:

Gordon B. Willis, PhD: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Gordon Willis is Cognitive Psychologist at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He has previously worked at Research Triangle Institute and at the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to develop methods for developing and evaluating survey questions. Dr. Willis attended Oberlin College and Northwestern University. He has co-authored the Questionnaire Appraisal System for designing survey items, and the Cognitive Interview Reporting Format for organizing study results; and has written two books: Cognitive Interviewing: A Tool for Improving Survey Questions; and Analysis of the Cognitive Interview in Questionnaire Design. Dr. Willis also teaches questionnaire design and pretesting for the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, and at the Odum Institute, University of North Carolina. His work involves the development of surveys on health topics such as cancer risk factors, and focuses on cross-cultural issues in questionnaire design and pretesting.