- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Brenner, P. S.
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Understanding Survey Methodology. Frontiers in Sociology and Social Research
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Response time (RT) – the time elapsing from the beginning of question reading for a given question until the start of the next question – is a potentially important indicator of data quality that can be reliably measured for all questions in a computer-administered survey using a latent timer (i.e., triggered automatically by moving on to the next question). In interviewer-administered surveys, RTs index data quality by capturing the entire length of time spent on a question–answer sequence, including interviewer question-asking behaviors and respondent question-answering behaviors. Consequently, longer RTs may indicate longer processing or interaction on the part of the interviewer, respondent, or both. RTs are an indirect measure of data quality; they do not directly measure reliability or validity, and we do not directly observe what factors lengthen the administration time. In addition, either too long or too short RTs could signal a problem (Ehlen, Schober, and Conrad 2007). However, studies that link components of RTs (interviewers’ question reading and response latencies) to interviewer and respondent behaviors that index data quality strengthen the claim that RTs indicate data quality (Bergmann and Bristle 2019; Draisma and Dijkstra 2004; Olson, Smyth, and Kirchner 2019). In general, researchers tend to consider longer RTs as signaling processing problems for the interviewer, respondent, or both (Couper and Kreuter 2013; Olson and Smyth 2015; Yan and Olson 2013; Yan and Tourangeau 2008). Previous work demonstrates that RTs are associated with various characteristics of interviewers (where applicable), questions, and respondents in web, telephone, and face-to-face interviews (e.g., Couper and Kreuter 2013; Olson and Smyth 2015; Yan and Tourangeau 2008). We replicate and extend this research by examining how RTs are associated with various question characteristics and several established tools for evaluating questions. We also examine whether increased interviewer experience in the study shortens RTs for questions with characteristics that impact the complexity of the interviewer’s task (i.e., interviewer instructions and parenthetical phrases). We examine these relationships in the context of a sample of racially diverse respondents who answered questions about participation in medical research and their health.more » « less
Ethnoracial identity refers to the racial and ethnic categories that people use to classify themselves and others. How it is measured in surveys has implications for understanding inequalities. Yet how people self-identify may not conform to the categories standardized survey questions use to measure ethnicity and race, leading to potential measurement error. In interviewer-administered surveys, answers to survey questions are achieved through interviewer–respondent interaction. An analysis of interviewer–respondent interaction can illuminate whether, when, how, and why respondents experience problems with questions. In this study, we examine how indicators of interviewer–respondent interactional problems vary across ethnoracial groups when respondents answer questions about ethnicity and race. Further, we explore how interviewers respond in the presence of these interactional problems. Data are provided by the 2013–2014 Voices Heard Survey, a computer-assisted telephone survey designed to measure perceptions of participating in medical research among an ethnoracially diverse sample of respondents.
Introduction and Theoretical Frameworks Our study draws upon several theoretical foundations to investigate and explain the educational experiences of Black students majoring in ME, CpE, and EE: intersectionality, critical race theory, and community cultural wealth theory. Intersectionality explains how gender operates together with race, not independently, to produce multiple, overlapping forms of discrimination and social inequality (Crenshaw, 1989; Collins, 2013). Critical race theory recognizes the unique experiences of marginalized groups and strives to identify the micro- and macro-institutional sources of discrimination and prejudice (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). Community cultural wealth integrates an asset-based perspective to our analysis of engineering education to assist in the identification of factors that contribute to the success of engineering students (Yosso, 2005). These three theoretical frameworks are buttressed by our use of Racial Identity Theory, which expands understanding about the significance and meaning associated with students’ sense of group membership. Sellers and colleagues (1997) introduced the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI), in which they indicated that racial identity refers to the “significance and meaning that African Americans place on race in defining themselves” (p. 19). The development of this model was based on the reality that individuals vary greatly in the extent to which they attach meaning to being a member of the Black racial group. Sellers et al. (1997) posited that there are four components of racial identity: 1. Racial salience: “the extent to which one’s race is a relevant part of one’s self-concept at a particular moment or in a particular situation” (p. 24). 2. Racial centrality: “the extent to which a person normatively defines himself or herself with regard to race” (p. 25). 3. Racial regard: “a person’s affective or evaluative judgment of his or her race in terms of positive-negative valence” (p. 26). This element consists of public regard and private regard. 4. Racial ideology: “composed of the individual’s beliefs, opinions and attitudes with respect to the way he or she feels that the members of the race should act” (p. 27). The resulting 56-item inventory, the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI), provides a robust measure of Black identity that can be used across multiple contexts. Research Questions Our 3-year, mixed-method study of Black students in computer (CpE), electrical (EE) and mechanical engineering (ME) aims to identify institutional policies and practices that contribute to the retention and attrition of Black students in electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. Our four study institutions include historically Black institutions as well as predominantly white institutions, all of which are in the top 15 nationally in the number of Black engineering graduates. We are using a transformative mixed-methods design to answer the following overarching research questions: 1. Why do Black men and women choose and persist in, or leave, EE, CpE, and ME? 2. What are the academic trajectories of Black men and women in EE, CpE, and ME? 3. In what way do these pathways vary by gender or institution? 4. What institutional policies and practices promote greater retention of Black engineering students? Methods This study of Black students in CpE, EE, and ME reports initial results from in-depth interviews at one HBCU and one PWI. We asked students about a variety of topics, including their sense of belonging on campus and in the major, experiences with discrimination, the impact of race on their experiences, and experiences with microaggressions. For this paper, we draw on two methodological approaches that allowed us to move beyond a traditional, linear approach to in-depth interviews, allowing for more diverse experiences and narratives to emerge. First, we used an identity circle to gain a better understanding of the relative importance to the participants of racial identity, as compared to other identities. The identity circle is a series of three concentric circles, surrounding an “inner core” representing one’s “core self.” Participants were asked to place various identities from a provided list that included demographic, family-related, and school-related identities on the identity circle to reflect the relative importance of the different identities to participants’ current engineering education experiences. Second, participants were asked to complete an 8-item survey which measured the “centrality” of racial identity as defined by Sellers et al. (1997). Following Enders’ (2018) reflection on the MMRI and Nigrescence Theory, we chose to use the measure of racial centrality as it is generally more stable across situations and best “describes the place race holds in the hierarchy of identities an individual possesses and answers the question ‘How important is race to me in my life?’” (p. 518). Participants completed the MIBI items at the end of the interview to allow us to learn more about the participants’ identification with their racial group, to avoid biasing their responses to the Identity Circle, and to avoid potentially creating a stereotype threat at the beginning of the interview. This paper focuses on the results of the MIBI survey and the identity circles to investigate whether these measures were correlated. Recognizing that Blackness (race) is not monolithic, we were interested in knowing the extent to which the participants considered their Black identity as central to their engineering education experiences. Combined with discussion about the identity circles, this approach allowed us to learn more about how other elements of identity may shape the participants’ educational experiences and outcomes and revealed possible differences in how participants may enact various points of their identity. Findings For this paper, we focus on the results for five HBCU students and 27 PWI students who completed the MIBI and identity circle. The overall MIBI average for HBCU students was 43 (out of a possible 56) and the overall MIBI scores ranged from 36-51; the overall MIBI average for the PWI students was 40; the overall MIBI scores for the PWI students ranged from 24-51. Twenty-one students placed race in the inner circle, indicating that race was central to their identity. Five placed race on the second, middle circle; three placed race on the third, outer circle. Three students did not place race on their identity circle. For our cross-case qualitative analysis, we will choose cases across the two institutions that represent low, medium and high MIBI scores and different ranges of centrality of race to identity, as expressed in the identity circles. Our final analysis will include descriptive quotes from these in-depth interviews to further elucidate the significance of race to the participants’ identities and engineering education experiences. The results will provide context for our larger study of a total of 60 Black students in engineering at our four study institutions. Theoretically, our study represents a new application of Racial Identity Theory and will provide a unique opportunity to apply the theories of intersectionality, critical race theory, and community cultural wealth theory. Methodologically, our findings provide insights into the utility of combining our two qualitative research tools, the MIBI centrality scale and the identity circle, to better understand the influence of race on the education experiences of Black students in engineering.more » « less
To examine the experience of interracial anxiety among health professionals and how it may affect the quality of their interactions with patients from racially marginalized populations. We explored the influence of prior interracial exposure—specifically through childhood neighborhoods, college student bodies, and friend groups—on interracial anxiety among medical students and residents. We also examined whether levels of interracial anxiety change from medical school through residency.
Web‐based longitudinal survey data from the Medical Student Cognitive Habits and Growth Evaluation Study.
We used a retrospective longitudinal design with four observations for each trainee. The study population consisted of non‐Black US medical trainees surveyed in their 1st and 4th years of medical school and 2nd and 3rd years of residency. Mixed effects longitudinal models were used to assess predictors of interracial anxiety and assess changes in interracial anxiety scores over time.
In total, 3155 non‐Black medical trainees were followed for 7 years. Seventy‐eight percent grew up in predominantly White neighborhoods. Living in predominantly White neighborhoods and having less racially diverse friends were associated with higher levels of interracial anxiety among medical trainees. Trainees' interracial anxiety scores did not substantially change over time; interracial anxiety was highest in the 1st year of medical school, lowest in the 4th year, and increased slightly during residency.
Neighborhood and friend group composition had independent effects on interracial anxiety, indicating that premedical racial socialization may affect medical trainees' preparedness to interact effectively with diverse patient populations. Additionally, the lack of substantial change in interracial anxiety throughout medical training suggests the importance of providing curricular tools and structure (e.g., instituting interracial cooperative learning activities) to foster the development of healthy interracial relationships.
Asking questions fluently, exactly as worded, and at a reasonable pace is a fundamental part of a survey interviewer’s role. Doing so allows the question to be asked as intended by the researcher and may decrease the risk of measurement error and contribute to rapport. Despite the central importance placed on reading questions exactly as worded, interviewers commonly misread questions, and it is not always clear why. Thus, understanding the risk of measurement error requires understanding how different interviewers, respondents, and question features may trigger question reading problems. In this article, we evaluate the effects of question features on question asking behaviors, controlling for interviewer and respondent characteristics. We also examine how question asking behaviors are related to question-asking time. Using two nationally representative telephone surveys in the United States, we find that longer questions and questions with transition statements are less likely to be read exactly and fluently, that questions with higher reading levels and parentheticals are less likely to be read exactly across both surveys and that disfluent readings decrease as interviewers gain experience across the field period. Other question characteristics vary in their associations with the outcomes across the two surveys. We also find that inexact and disfluent question readings are longer, but read at a faster pace, than exact and fluent question reading. We conclude with implications for interviewer training and questionnaire design.