ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Interviewers Personality and the Impact on the Participation in Telephone Interviews.

Volker Huefken

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 11 - Law Building, Room 107
Date: 2012-07-12 11:00 AM – 01:30 PM
Last modified: 2012-06-12


We examine the effects of personality traits on interviewer performance in terms of the likelihood of refusal in a cross-sectional telephone survey. The 10-Item Big Five Inventory, a short scale version of the established BFI, was used as a measure of personality traits. Based on the existing studies, we hypothesize that extraversion increases motivation because enthusiastic and sociable interviewers are able to convince respondents of benefits of participation. We use a national telephone survey and the data collected from about 150 interviewers. The results indicate that extraversion is negatively associated with a higher likelihood of refusal, as hypothesized. However, agreeableness is found to exhibit positive association. The implication for survey practice for example, it might be useful to administer a personality test and obtain the applicant’s score on the extraversion dimension.