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Standardization and Tacit Knowledge: Interaction and Practice in the Survey Interview

ISBN: 978-0-471-35829-9
560 pages
January 2002
Standardization and Tacit Knowledge: Interaction and Practice in the Survey Interview (0471358290) cover image


An interdisciplinary look at interaction in the standardized survey interview

This volume presents a theoretical and empirical inquiry into the interaction between interviewers and respondents in standardized research interviews. The editors include a range of articles that showcase the perspectives of conversation analysts, ethnomethodologists, and survey methodologists, to gain a more complete picture of interaction in the standardized survey interview than was previously available.

This book is the first to focus solely on the interactional substrate or conversational architecture of interviewing. It offers a range of insights into standardized interviewing as interaction and forms a bridge between survey methodology and the study of interaction and tacit practices. The articles are arranged into four subject groups: theoretical orientations, survey recruitment, interaction during the substantive interview, and interaction and survey data quality. Articles include:
* Interactions in telephone surveys
* Recruitment of respondents
* Respondent laughter
* Interaction coding
* Impact of technology on interaction
* Occasions for interviewer intervention

Standardization and Tacit Knowledge serves as a one-of-a-kind reference for survey methodologists, linguists, and researchers and also as a postgraduate coursebook in survey interviewing.
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Table of Contents



Standardization and It's Discontents (D.W. Maynard and N.C. Schaeffer).

Why Study Inteaction in the Survey Interview?: Response from a Survey Researcher (J. van der Zouwen).

A Collaborative View of Standardized Survey Interviews (M.F. Schober and F.G. Conrad).

Conversation with a Purpose--or Conversation? Interaction in the Standardized Interview (N.C. Schaeffer).

The Living Text: Written Instructions and Situated Actions in Telephone Surveys (M. Lynch).

Survey Inteviews as Talk-in-Interaction (E.A. Schegloff).


Introductory Interactions in Telephone Surveys and Nonresponse (M.P. Couper and R.M. Groves).

Opening and Closing the Gate: The Work of Optimism in Recruiting Survey Respondents (D.W. Maynard and N.C. Schaeffer).

Effects of Introduction in Large-Scale Telephone Survey Interviews (H. Houtkoop-Steenstra and H. van den Bergh).

Refusal Conversion and Tailoring (D.W. Maynard and N.C. Schaeffer).


Questioning Turn Format and Turn-Taking Problems in Standardized Interviews (H. Houtkoop-Steenstra).

Occasions for Intervention: Interactional Resources for Comprehension in Standardized Survey Interviews (N.C. Schaeffer and D.W Maynard).

Achieving Understanding in the Standardized Survey Interview: Repair Sequences (R.J. Moore and D.W. Maynard).

Ad Hoc Inquiries: Two Preferences in the Design of Routine Questions in an Open Context. (J. Heritage).

Standardization Vs. Rapport: How Interviewers Handle the Laughter of Respondents During Telephone Surveys (D. Lavin and D.W. Maynard).

How Uniform Is Standardization? Variation Within and Across Survey Research Centers Regarding Protocols for Interviewing (J. Viterna and D.W. Maynard).


Transcribing, Coding, and Analyzing Verbal Interaction in Survey Interviews (W. Dijkstra).

Testing Questionnaires Using Interaction Coding (J. van der Zouwen and W.Dijkstra).

How Interviewers Make Coding Decisions (T. Hak).

The Impact of Technology on Interaction in Computer-Assisted Interviews (M. Fuchs).

Appendix 1: Transcribing Conventions.

Appendix 2: Transcript for Interview AW01.

Author Index.

Subject Index.
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Author Information

DOUGLAS W. MAYNARD is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

HANNEKE HOUTKOOP-STEENSTRA is Assistant Professor of Linguistics/Dutch at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

NORA CATE SCHAEFFER is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

JOHANNES VAN DER ZOUWEN is Professor of Social Research Methods at Vrije University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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"…with this volume a hardly discovered area is systematically 'scouted' and by doing this the authors take a big step from the 'art of asking questions' to a 'science of asking questions.'" (Journal of Official Statistics, June 2003)

"...reviews in detail the complex interaction between the interviewer and the respondent in the context of the survey interview." (Population and Development Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, June 2003)

"...provides a very comprehensive discussion of the topics under consideration here." (Technometrics, Vol. 45, No. 2, May 2003)

"Multi-disciplinary approaches to survey interviews are presented in this collection of papers..." (Reference & Research Book News, May 2002)

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