Who’s Calling? Predicting Survey Participation from the Opening of the Call

Although survey researchers have been conducting phone surveys since before the 1970s, little is known about how best to begin a call. A new publication by UWSC researchers and colleagues using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study identifies two features of the call opening that predict whether the call will end with an interview. An interview is more likely if the sample member has a larger (rather than smaller) pitch span and if the interviewer introduces herself before asking for the sample member. When the respondents has to ask “Who is this?” or “What is this about?” the chance of an interview decreases.

Schaeffer, Nora Cate, Bo Hee Min, Thomas Purnell, Dana Garbarski, and Jennifer Dykema. “Greeting and Response: Predicting Participation from the Call Opening.” 2017. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology. DOI: 10.1093/jssam/smx014