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Cognitive Interviewing for Testing Survey Questions

12th July 2018 @ 8:00 am - 13th July 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Course Code HUB-11-17/18-P-R
Organised by NCRM, University of Southampton
Presenter Dr Pamela Campanelli
Date 12/07/2018 – 13/07/2018
Venue Room -1.59, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park, Cardiff
Map View in Google Maps  (CF10 3WT)
Contact Jacqui Thorp,
Training and Capacity Building Co-ordinator,
NCRM, University of Southampton
Tel: 02380594069
Email: [email protected]
Description This course is about understanding and learning to use Cognitive Interviewing (a powerful and efficient method of testing survey questions).  A full range of Cognitive Interviewing techniques will be covered (e.g., think-alouds, probing, observation, paraphrasing, rating tasks, response latency measurement and card sort classification tasks). The course will include practical information on how to implement the various methods as well as “hands-on” sessions where participants will have the chance to practice the major methods. The course also covers recruitment and sampling of participants, analysis, getting from results to improved survey questions and reporting. It also explores broader uses for and controversy in Cognitive Interviewing as well as Cognitive Interviewing in comparison and in combination with other survey question testing methods.

The course covers:

  • Background information on what Cognitive Interviewing is and how to do it
  • Practice doing Cognitive Interviewing using survey questions in the course material
  • Practice doing Cognitive Interviewing using your own survey questions
  • Sampling and recruitment for Cognitive Interviewing
  • Analysis of Cognitive Interviewing results
  • Getting from results to improved survey questions (with workshop in revising survey questions based on Cognitive Interviewing results)
  • Various broader uses and controversy in Cognitive Interviewing
  • Cognitive Interviewing in comparison to other testing methods and ideas on combining methods

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Have an understanding of the range of techniques which make up a cognitive interview
  • Have increased their own ability to do cognitive interviewing
  • Have a better awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of different aspects of cognitive interviewing
  • Have insight into selecting and recruiting respondents
  • Have insight into analysing cognitive interview data and creating better survey questions
  • Have awareness of a broad range of uses for and the controversy in Cognitive Interviewing
  • Have awareness of the contribution of Cognitive Interviewing in comparison to other testing methods

The course is for any one from any discipline or sector wanting to use Cognitive Interviewing to test their survey questions. This includes people new to cognitive interviewing as well as those who have experience in cognitive interviewing, but would like extend their knowledge and/or skills.

Preparatory Reading

Desirable: Fowler, F.J. Jr. (1995), Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation, Sage.

Level Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)
Cost The fee per teaching day is:

• £30 per day for UK/EU registered students
• £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions.
• £220 per day for all other participants

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

Website and registration
Region Wales
Keywords Comparative and Cross National Research, Survey Research, Survey and Questionnaire Design, Pretesting questionnaire, Cognitive testing, Face-to-face survey interview, Telephone/video call survey interview, Self-completed questionnaire
Related publications and presentations Comparative and Cross National Research
Survey Research
Survey and Questionnaire Design
Pretesting questionnaire
Cognitive testing
Face-to-face survey interview
Telephone/video call survey interview
Self-completed questionnaire


12th July 2018 @ 8:00 am
13th July 2018 @ 5:00 pm


Room -1.59, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park, Cardiff
NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC