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Cognitive Interviewing

Cognitive Interviewing
Learn about this powerful and efficient method of testing survey questions. (NatCen trainers)

Introduction/ Overview

This course is designed to familiarise participants with a powerful and efficient method of testing survey questions called Cognitive Interviewing. It will be delivered through a combination of taught theory and practical sessions. This course will provide you with all the information you will need to set up and run your own cognitive interviewing projects. The course will include practical information on how to implement the most popular methods in cognitive interviewing, which are think-aloud, probing, and observation, as well as “hands-on” sessions where participants will have the chance to practice these methods.




By the end of the workshop, participants will:

  •  Understand what factors contribute to measurement error in surveys, the advantages and disadvantages of different pretesting methods and the theoretical  background to cognitive interviewing;
  •  Be able to design cognitive interview protocols and sample frames, conduct interviews and analyse data collected;




The course covers:

  • Why do we need to test survey questions?
  • What methods can be used to test survey questions?
  • What is cognitive interviewing and why is it useful?
  • Designing cognitive interview protocols
  • Conducting cognitive interviews
  • Management and analysis of cognitive interview data and reporting the findings


Who will benefit?


You will find the course useful if:

  • you wish to acquire a theoretical understanding of the role of cognitive methods in the development and testing of survey instruments;
  • you need to gain practical experience in cognitive interviewing techniques and analysis of the data;
  • you need to plan a cognitive test for the first time;
  • you commission or manage quantitative research in central or local government, health or other applied policy sectors and need to learn about pre-testing methods so you can incorporate this stage of development into your work


No prior interviewing experience is necessary for this course, although some prior exposure to questionnaire design will be beneficial.


Learning outcomes


Participants will achieve an awareness of the critical issues and techniques in conducting a cognitive interview and will increase their own ability to do cognitive interviewing.


Course tutor


Jo d’Ardenne is Research Director working within NatCen’s Questionnaire Development and Testing (QDT) Hub. She is co-author of the text book, ‘Cognitive Interviewing Practice.’ Jo has experience conducting cognitive interviews with a wide-range of audiences including: children and young people, professionals and people who speak English as a second language. Jo has experience of conducting eye-tracking research to assess how people navigate and locate information on both paper and web-based forms.

Course fee payable to SRA.

This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

10/8/2020 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
GMT Standard Time
NatCen 35 Northampton Square LONDON EC1V 0AX UNITED KINGDOM

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