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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Probing involves the use of specific words or other interviewing techniques by an interviewer to clarify or to seek elaboration of a person's response to a survey question. When respondents provide incomplete or irrelevant answers to survey questions, it becomes necessary for interviewers to query respondents further in an effort to obtain a more complete or specifie answer to a given question. Although survey researchers may take great care in constructing questionnaires in terms of the wording of both questions and response options, some respondents may not provide a response in the format pre-specified by the researcher, especially when answering closed-ended questions. Likewise, respondents may offer vague or overly simplistic replies to open-ended questions, that is, questions with no predetermined response categories. Additionally, respondents may ...

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