The Influence of Interviewer’s Locus of Control on the Participation in Telephone Interviews

Christian Weidmann, Patrick Schmich, Sabine Schiller-Born


In order to reach a better understanding of the differences in persuasive power of interviewers conducting telephone polls this explanatory contribution is dealing with the locus of control of these interviewers and the rate of their success at persuading potential interviewees to take part in such surveys. Studies on the locus of control in other professions assume an increase in the rate of success for interviewers with a strong internal locus of control. This hypothesis is tested on the basis of data from the Telephone Health Survey 2007 conducted by the Robert Koch-Institute. Results from a logistic multilevel model show that interviewers with high internal locus of control really have higher success rates. These results underline the influence that the convictions and the expectations of the interviewers have on the rate of participation in telephone interviews. However, locus of control does not appear to be a valid interviewer selection criterion when the goal is to convince target persons who are averse to surveys.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Christian Weidmann, Patrick Schmich, Sabine Schiller-Born

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