Received wisdom among those who run survey centers is that some interviewers are better than others at convincing respondents to participate in surveys. This is easier to assert than actually show. As some readers know, I am an investigator on the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a survey of thousands of 1957 Wisconsin high school graduates that fielded its last round of phone surveys ~3 years ago. After several hours of meticulous data analysis, I have adduced strong evidence indicating that, in fact, some WLS interviewers were better than others. Today is thus not a day that feels much like I am splitting the sociological atom, here.
WLS respondents were in their late sixties; WLS telephone interviewers were mostly undergraduates (or undergraduate-aged). Any guesses about whether there was a sex of interviewer effect in the WLS (that is, a tendency for male or female interviewers to be better at getting respondents to participate)?