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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Ensuring Comparability and Measurement Equity: A Socio-Cultural Approach to Cognitive Interviewing


Thursday, July 21, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 PM Eastern Time

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Speaker:
Kristen Miller, Collaborating Center for Question Design and Evaluation Research with the National Center for Health Statistics
Stephanie Willson, senior methodologist at the Collaborating Center for Question Design and Evaluation Research within the National Center for Health Statistics


About Kristen:
Kristen Miller, PhD directs the Collaborating Center for Question Design and Evaluation Research with the National Center for Health Statistics.  Her writings focus on question comparability, including question design and equivalence for lower SES respondents and the improvement of evaluation methods for cross-cultural and cross-national testing studies.  She is a co-editor of two methods books: Cognitive Interviewing Methodology (2014) and Question Evaluation Methods (2011).  She has led collaborative international testing projects with statistical agencies and organizations including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.  Dr. Miller holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Delaware.

About Stephanie:
Stephanie Willson, PhD is a senior methodologist at the Collaborating Center for Question Design and Evaluation Research within the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC.  She has worked on projects focusing on evaluating administrative records, including birth certificates as well as blood and organ donation forms.  She has also worked extensively on evaluating COVID-19 and opioid-related questions for household surveys.  Her research interests include advancing cognitive interviewing methodology, especially in the areas of construct validity and question design principles. Dr. Willson is co-editor of Cognitive Interviewing Methodology and holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Delaware.

Description:
While cognitive interviewing is commonly understood as a pre-test method used to determine whether there is a ‘problem’ that should be ‘fixed,’ this course presents the method as an empirically-based study of the interpretive processes of question response, investigating construct validity, comparability, and measurement equity:  Do questions mean the same to all socio-cultural and linguistic groups represented in a survey? Are data elicited from questions capturing the same phenomena across all groups of respondents?  Is the quality of responses similar across all respondent groups? 

Set within the socio-cultural approach as described in Miller and Willis (2016) and as outlined in Miller et al (2014), the webinar details how cognitive interviewing methodology can investigate the ways in which context and respondent social location impact the question response process.  Using existing examples, the webinar overviews the various stages of a cognitive interviewing project, including qualitative sampling and interviewing, as well as the importance of reflexivity.  The primary focus, however, will center on analysis and the steps that can be taken to transform traditional cognitive interviewing projects into more in-depth studies about question performance and comparability.  

Objectives: 
  • Understand how socio-cultural context informs the question response process and, in turn, how question design directly affects measurement equity
  • Attain a basic understanding of how to conduct a cognitive interviewing study to investigate question comparability
  • Learn key characteristics of a cognitive interviewing study to assess the veracity of a study 

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