Date of Award
Communication and the arts, Psychology
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The present study examined how the manner by which "don't know" (DK) responses are handled by interviewers affects the amount and quality of information gathered from witnesses. The study examined the separate and combined effects of manipulating interviewer instructions regarding DK responses (encouraging or discouraging the use of DK responses), and personal motivation to respond accurately (low or high motivation) on responses to non-leading answerable and unanswerable questions. Results indicate that interviewer instructions significantly impact use of DK responses and interact with motivation to impact accuracy of responses to answerable questions. Clarification of DK responses led to recoding a statistically significant proportion as of those responses as either correct or incorrect, leading to increased output. Accuracy for unanswerable questions increased, while accuracy for answerable questions decreased. Question type was a key factor in determining accuracy of responses upon clarification.
Fisico, Stephanie, "The effects of interviewer instructions and interviewee motivation on the use of “don't know” responses to interview questions" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8197.