Computer-Assisted, Self-Interviewing (CASI) Compared to Face-to-Face Interviewing (FTFI) with Open-Ended, Non-Sensitive Questions

  • John Robert Fairweather AERU, Lincoln University
  • Tiffany Rinne AERU, Lincoln University
  • Gary Steel Environmental Sciences and Design, Lincoln University


This article reports results from research on cultural models, and assesses the effects of computers on data quality by comparing open-ended questions asked in two formats—face-to-face interviewing (FTFI) and computer-assisted, self-interviewing (CASI). We expected that for our non-sensitive topic, FTFI would generate fuller and richer accounts because the interviewer could facilitate the interview process. Although the interviewer indeed facilitated these interviews, which resulted in more words in less time, the number of underlying themes found within the texts for each interview mode was the same, thus resulting in the same models of national culture and innovation being built for each mode. Our results, although based on an imperfect research design, suggest that CASI can be beneficial when using open-ended questions because CASI is easy to administer, capable of reaching more efficiently a large sample, and able to avoid the need to transcribe the recorded responses.