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  1. Abstract

    Interviewers’ postinterview evaluations of respondents’ performance (IEPs) are paradata, used to describe the quality of the data obtained from respondents. IEPs are driven by a combination of factors, including respondents’ and interviewers’ sociodemographic characteristics and what actually transpires during the interview. However, relatively few studies examine how IEPs are associated with features of the response process, including facets of the interviewer-respondent interaction and patterns of responding that index data quality. We examine whether features of the response process—various respondents’ behaviors and response quality indicators—are associated with IEPs in a survey with a diverse set of respondents focused on barriers and facilitators to participating in medical research. We also examine whether there are differences in IEPs across respondents’ and interviewers’ sociodemographic characteristics. Our results show that both respondents’ behaviors and response quality indicators predict IEPs, indicating that IEPs reflect what transpires in the interview. In addition, interviewers appear to approach the task of evaluating respondents with differing frameworks, as evidenced by the variation in IEPs attributable to interviewers and associations between IEPs and interviewers’ gender. Further, IEPs were associated with respondents’ education and ethnoracial identity, net of respondents’ behaviors, response quality indicators, and sociodemographic characteristics of respondents and interviewers. Future research should continue to build on studies that examine the correlates of IEPs to better inform whether, when, and how to use IEPs as paradata about the quality of the data obtained.

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  2. Medical research literacy (MRL) is a facet of health literacy that measures a person’s understanding of informed consent and other aspects of participation in medical research. While existing research on MRL is limited, there are reasons to believe MRL may be associated with a willingness to participate in medical research. We use data from a racially balanced sample of survey respondents (n = 410): (1) to analyze how MRL scores vary by respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics; (2) to examine how MRL relates to respondents’ expressed likelihood to participate in a clinical trial; and (3) to provide considerations on the measurement of MRL. The results indicate no differences in MRL scores by race or gender; younger (p < 0.05) and more educated (p < 0.001) individuals have significantly higher MRL scores. Further, higher MRL scores are associated with significantly lower levels of expressed likelihood to participate in a clinical trial. Additionally, the MRL scale included both true and false statements, and analyses demonstrate significant differences in how these relate to outcomes. Altogether, the results signal that further research is needed to understand MRL and how it relates to socio-demographic characteristics associated with research participation and can be measured effectively. 
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  3. 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. 
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