NEWS29 October 2010

AAPOR updates cellphone survey guidelines

North America

US— The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has updated its guidelines on the use of cellphones in survey research as the percentage of US homes without landlines passes 25%.

The report of the association’s cellphone task force discusses issues around coverage and sampling, nonresponse, measurement and the weighting of random digit dial (RDD) cellphone samples. Legal, ethical and operational issues and costs are also addressed.

AAPOR said that although it remains “too early to publish definitive standards or ‘best practices’ for RDD cellphone surveys”, the rising number of cell-only homes requires survey researchers to determine how to interview people on their mobiles “or risk unrepresentative results when studying the full population”.

Recent analysis by the Pew Research Centre determined that voting intention polls that exclude cellphone samples are favouring Republican candidates over Democrats when compared with surveys using a combined landline and cellphone sample.

Download the AAPOR report and guidelines here.