Glasner, Tina

Reconstructing event histories in standardized survey research: Cognitive mechanisms and aided recall techniques


Tina Glasner (NWO-AiO)

Department of Social Research Methodology
Faculty of Social Sciences
VU University Amsterdam

Supervisors: Prof. dr W. Dijkstra (VU University), dr W. van der Vaart (Wageningen University)

Project running from: 1 September 2004 – 1 September 2009

Life histories of individuals are often reconstructed using retrospective questions. Since retrospective data suffer from recall error, sociologists and health scientists have employed event history calendars and timelines to enhance data quality. Yet, methodological research on the value of these techniques is scarce and requires more theoretical foundation. The few studies that compare to regular questionnaire procedures show positive effects on data quality. This project aims to obtain more insight in the cognitive mechanisms underlying these techniquesd in order to further improve them. Pilot experiments and a field experiment will be performed to elaborate techniques and evaluate their effects.

Date of defence:  29 April 2011

Title of thesis:  Reconstructing event histories in standardized survey research: cognitive mechanisms and aided recall techniques.