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Fallback Statements

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Oftentimes when interviewers first make contact with a sampled respondent, the respondent is hesitant or otherwise reluctant to agree to participate in the survey. In most surveys, researchers can anticipate the nature of the concerns that will be expressed by respondents, and, as such, the researchers can train their interviewers to use targeted persuasion to try to convince the respondents to cooperate. The verbiage that interviewers are encouraged to use to persuade respondents has been termed fallback statements, as the interviewers must "fall back" to them in order to be successful with the respondent.

For example, respondents sampled in RDD (random-digit dialing) surveys who express reluctance to participate often will ask the interviewer, "How did you get my number?" Knowing that this question is one that ...

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