Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Improving Surveys with Paradata: Analytic Uses of Process Information, First Edition, edited by Frauke Kreuter (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013), pp. 73–95.


Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Inc. Used by permission.


Paradata for purposes of investigating and understanding measurement error include response times, keystrokes, mouse clicks, behavior codes, vocal characteristics, and interviewer evaluations. Description and collection of these paradata is examined extensively in Chapter 3. In this chapter, we focus on the analysis of these types of paradata.

We begin this chapter with a brief review of empirical literature using paradata to investigate measurement error in Section 4.2. Section 4.3 describes the specific analytic steps taken and issues to be considered when analyzing paradata for the purpose of examining measurement error. Examples taken from published research work are provided in Section 4.4 to illustrate how one type of paradata—response times—has been used to answer various research questions on measurement error. Section 4.5 calls the reader’s attention to issues related to the measurement error in paradata themselves and other general issues involved in analyzing paradata. We wrap up this chapter by offering, in Section 4.6, take home points for researchers, survey practitioners, supervisors, and interviewers.