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Nondirective Probing

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Probing inadequate survey answers for the additional information that may be necessary to fully meet a question's goal(s) is an important element of standardized survey interviewing. In training interviewers to probe effectively, an important distinction should be drawn between nondirective and directive forms of this technique. Unlike directive probing, nondirective probing is designed to encourage and motivate respondents to provide clarifying information without influencing their answers. That is, this approach is specifically designed to be neutral in order to avoid increasing the probability that any specifie type of answer is encouraged, or discouraged, from respondents. When nondirective probing is employed, an answer is never suggested by the interviewer. Some examples of nondirective probing of closed-ended questions include slowly repeating the original question or repeating the ...

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