Interviewer variance between event history calendar and conventional questionnaire interviews

Harlan Sayles, Robert F. Belli, Emilio Serrano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Whereas the primary goal of event history calendar interviewing is to maximize the accuracy of autobiographical recall, the primary goal of standardized conventional questionnaires is to obtain valid and reliable reports by minimizing interviewer variance. The level of interviewer variance in eliciting retrospective reports for a 30-year reference period was examined between CATI event history calendar and CATI standardized conventional questionnaire interviews. In general, with both interviewing methods, the level of interviewer variance was within the range observed with other data sources. Although the event history calendar led to a modest increase in interviewer variance in comparison to the conventional questionnaire, the event history calendar is still the preferred method because its use reliably produced more accurate retrospective reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-153
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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