Exploring the Effects of Pre-interview Practice in Asian Language Cognitive Interviews

Hyunjoo Park, Patricia Goerman, Mandy Sha



Before conducting a non-English language cognitive interview, researchers generally recommend giving respondents a short practice session to help them become more familiar with the cognitive interview probing and answering process. This paper is an exploratory first attempt to study the effects of pre-interview practice in Asian language cognitive interviews. Using 90 Asian language cognitive interviews (30 each in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, we examined the effects of two types of pre-interview practice: (1) lecture-based traditional practice where the interviewer explains the interview procedures and the interview task with an example; and (2) action-based enhanced practice, which includes the same two components as the above but has an additional segment at the end where the respondent actually completes a short, practice task which is very similar to the ones he or she will encounter in the main interview. To measure their effects, at the end of the interview, the interviewers rated each respondent’s behavior during the cognitive interview using a 5-point Likert type scale. Our results indicated that the enhanced practice may have helped the respondents understand the purpose of the interview better, feel more comfortable with the interview process, and may have helped to maintain their interest throughout the interview more so than the traditional lecture-based practice.


Cognitive interviews, pre-interview practice, Asian languages

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