Vocal Characteristics, Speech, and Behavior of Telephone Interviewers.

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dc.contributor.author Broome, Jessica Susan en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-15T17:29:59Z
dc.date.available NO_RESTRICTION en_US
dc.date.available 2012-06-15T17:29:59Z
dc.date.issued 2012 en_US
dc.date.submitted en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/91407
dc.description.abstract Growing rates of nonresponse to telephone surveys have the potential to contribute to nonresponse error, and interviewers contribute differentially to nonresponse. Why do some telephone interviewers have better response rates than others? What should interviewers be trained to say or do to improve their performance in recruitment—and how do these recommendations differ from current practice? This dissertation uses three studies to answer these questions. A “Practitioners’ Survey” among individuals responsible for hiring and training telephone interviewers found that practitioners place tremendous importance on the first impression an interviewer gives to sample members, including whether s/he sounds confident, competent, and professional, but far less importance on an interviewer sounding natural or unscripted. This widespread belief in the industry contrasts sharply with results from the “Listeners’ Study,” which exposed over 3,000 web survey respondents to brief excerpts of interviewer speech from audio recorded survey introductions and asked them to rate twelve personality characteristics of the interviewer. First impressions of confidence, competence, professionalism and other traits had no association with the actual outcome of the call, while ratings of “scriptedness” were significantly negatively associated with the likelihood of agreement. At the same time, ratings of positive personality traits were positively associated with predictions by different groups of raters as to the outcome of the call. Further, significant relationships were found between measured speech rate and fundamental frequency in the excerpts and characteristic ratings. Beyond first impressions, the “Tailoring Study” uncovered a critical and trainable behavior of successful telephone interviewers over the course of introductions. Using detailed coding of 626 introduction transcripts, interviewers’ responsiveness to specific concerns such as “I don’t have time” or “What is this about?” and conversation starters by potential respondents or telephone “answerers” is analyzed across contacts with three outcomes: agree, refusal, and scheduled callback. Results show that interviewers are most responsive to answerers in calls that result in a scheduled callback and least responsive in refusals. Practical applications for telephone interviewer training are discussed, including suggested approaches to both “red flags” indicating an imminent hang-up and “green lights” suggesting likely agreement. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Telephone Interviewers en_US
dc.subject Survey Nonresponse en_US
dc.subject Voice and Speech en_US
dc.title Vocal Characteristics, Speech, and Behavior of Telephone Interviewers. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Survey Methodology en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Conrad, Frederick G. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Brennan, Susan E. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Heeringa, Steven G. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Schwarz, Norbert W. en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Social Sciences (General) en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Social Sciences en_US
dc.description.bitstreamurl http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/91407/1/jsbroome_1.pdf
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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