Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented at “Interviewers and Their Effects from a Total Survey Error Perspective Workshop,” University of Nebraska-Lincoln, February 26-28, 2019.


Copyright 2019 by the authors.


Interviewer training can improve the performance of interviewers and thus also the quality of survey data. However, the question of how effective interviewer training is for improving data quality and more importantly, which determinates drive its success, remain unanswered. This research uses meta-analytical methods to evaluate both the improvements in data quality due to interviewer training and the effectivity of training modules with respect interviewer performance. We consider various aspects of data quality, namely unit nonresponse, item nonresponse, probing behavior, administration, reading, and recording. Based on more than sixty experimental studies, we find that comprehensive interviewer training improves unit- and item nonresponse, probing behavior, administration, reading, and recording of items by up to 40%. We also find that using a broad variety of training modules such as blended learning, exercises and feedback sessions, interviewer monitoring, and supplementary training materials reinforces this the positive effect of interviewer training on data quality.