Lugtig, Peter

Tailoring to the MAX: Using new IC technology to increase data quality and efficiency in panel surveys


Peter Lugtig
Department of Methodology and Statistics
Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University

Project: Project financed by Utrecht University

Project running from: 1 September 2007 – 1 September 2012

Supervisors: Prof. dr J.J. Hox, dr G.J.L.M. Lensvelt-Mulders

Panel studies hold the promise of providing reliable and valid data on change over time. This dissertation project investigates measurement error in panel data with the aim to improve the quality of future data collection and to enhance the scientific knowledge of the question-answer process. The possibilities of dependent interviewing techniques (DI) and the analysis of attrition patterns to improve data quality and survey efficiency will be evaluated.  We compare three alternative approaches to dependent interviewing (proactive, reactive and optional) with traditional interviewing to study the effects of the different designs on measurement error. To do so we propose to conduct a 4×2×2 experimental design.

Three main effects will be studied: 1) The effects of four different techniques for dependent interviewing on measurement error and stability of traits over time, 2) the effects of anchoring as a result of DI, and 3) the effects of DI on different kind of questions i.e. facts and attitudes. All interaction effects will be studied as well.

Attrition patterns will be studied and used to improve the imputation of missing data and in doing so improve the estimation of substantive variables.

Because the methodological problems studied in this project stem from respondent’s behaviour this project will be a joint work of the Departments of Methods and Statistics and Psychology of Utrecht University. Five hundred first year students will take part in a longitudinal survey on students’ motivation, satisfaction, and grades, related to the development of their academic literacy during their bachelor years.

Date of defence:  24 February 2012

Title of thesis:  I think I know what you did last summer (ISBN: 978-90-393-57163)

Promotores:  Prof. dr. J.J. Hox, Prof. dr G.J.L.M. Lensvelt-Mulders