Refusal Avoidance Training (RAT)

Research interviewers have the difficult task of obtaining the cooperation of respondents. Successful interviewers are able to achieve positive outcomes (completed interviews) while simultaneously avoiding negative outcomes (refusals). Researchers may employ several approaches to improving response rates through refusal avoidance, including the use of refusal avoidance training (RAT), which specifically concentrates on interviewers reducing the proportion of their survey requests that end as a refusal.

Experienced and successful interviewers tailor their approach to individual respondents, rather than using a “one size fits all” approach. To successfully tailor their approach, interviewers must have an extensive set of techniques, strategies, phrases, and so on, that have to be customized to the specific survey request. Interviewers must use active listening skills to pick up on the verbal and nonverbal ...

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