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Cognitive interviewing (NatCen)

illustration of people with thought bubbles
This live online course provides training in Cognitive Interviewing, a set of techniques used to test survey questions. (NatCen trainers, Foundation Level) * Price:  £165 for SRA members, £220 for non-members.  It runs in one day and uses Zoom software *


This course provides training in Cognitive Interviewing, a set of techniques used to test survey questions. The course takes participants through the stages involved in testing survey questions using cognitive interviewing techniques such as think-aloud, probing, and observation.


Course objectives


By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • 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 recruitment strategies, conduct interviews, analyse data and interpret findings.




The course covers:

  • What is cognitive interviewing and why is it useful?
  • Designing a cognitive interviewing study
  • Sampling and recruitment strategies
  • Developing a cognitive interview protocol
  • Conducting cognitive interviews
  • Management, analysis and interpretation of cognitive interview data


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 plan a cognitive interviewing project for the first time;
  • you need to gain practical experience of cognitive interviewing techniques and analysis of data;
  • 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


This course is brought to you by NatCen Learning, part of the National Centre for Social Research: Britain’s leading centre for independent social research.

The largest independent not-for-profit social research organisation, NatCen’s customers include key policy decision-makers, government, think tanks, charities, businesses, universities and other research organisations.

NatCen Learning courses are led by experienced trainers and subject matter experts who work within the National Centre for Social Research. Every course is specially designed to encourage the effective transfer of theory to practice through encouraging participatory contribution.

Course fee payable to SRA.


  This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme


Looking to book for four or more people from your organisation? Please let us know before booking by emailing: [email protected]


22/05/2024 09:30 - 16:30
GMT Summer Time

You need to sign in or create a new user account before booking.