Nora Cate Schaeffer

Nora Cate Schaeffer


Soc 351 Introduction to Survey Methods for Social Research
Soc 360 Statistics for Sociologists
Soc 751 Survey Methods for Social Research
Soc 752 Measurement and Questionnaires for Survey Research (Resources)
Soc 752 Measurement and Questionnaires for Survey Research (Questionnaire Design)

Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology
Faculty Director, University of Wisconsin Survey Center
4422 Sewell Social Sciences
(608) 262-3868
Fax: (608) 262-8400
Sterling Hall, 475 N. Charter S, Madison WI 53706-1582t. Rm. 4304B
(608) 262-9051
Office Hours: W 11-12, use scheduling assistant widget and by appt (F'17)

Curriculum Vitae

Nora Cate Schaeffer is Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she also serves as Faculty Director of the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, teaches courses in survey research methods, and conducts research on questionnaire design and interaction during survey interviews.

She recently served on the Public Opinion Quarterly Advisory Board of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the General Social Survey Board of Overseers, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Board of Overseers. Other past service includes appointment to the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, election to the governing Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, election to the Council on Sections Representative for the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association, and appointment as a member of the Census Advisory Committee of Professional Associations.

Her service for the National Research Council (NRC) includes Panel to Evaluate the NCSES Approach to Measuring the Science and Engineering Workforce, the Panel on Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault (doi:10.17226/18605) , Panel on the Future of Social Science Data Collection (doi:10.17226/18293), The Standing Committee on Integrating New Behavioral Health Measures into SAMHSA’s Data Collection Programs (doi:10.17226/21920), Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments, the Committee on National Statistics, the Panel to Review Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation, and the Panel to Evaluate Alternative Census Methods for the National Research Council.

Other previous service includes the American Statistical Association Technical Advisory Committee on the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the Technical Review Committee for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and similar committee for other national surveys.

She has also served on the editorial boards of Public Opinion Quarterly, Sociological Methods and Research, Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, and Sociological Methodology.

Before receiving her doctorate from the University of Chicago (1984), she worked at National Opinion Research Center.

In 2010 she was selected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and in 2015 she was selected as Fellow of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research.

Selected Publications:
Dykema, Jennifer, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, and Mike Hout. (Forthcoming 2018.) “The Role of Question Characteristics in Designing and Evaluating Survey Questions.” in Advances in Questionnaire Design, Development, Evaluation, and Testing, edited by P. Beatty, D. Collins, L. Kaye, J. Padilla, G. Willis, and A. Wilmot, Hoboken, NJ

Schaeffer, Nora Cate, Bo Hee Min, Thomas Purnell, Dana Garbarski, and Jennifer Dykema. “Greeting and Response: Predicting Participation from the Call Opening.” 2017. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology. DOI: 10.1093/jssam/smx014

Garbarski, Dana, Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema. 2016. "Interviewing Practices, Conversational Practices, and Rapport: Responsiveness and Engagement in the Standardized Survey Interview," in Sociological Methodology 2016, edited by Duane F. Alwin, pp. 1-38, Sage. DOI: 10.1177/0081175016637890.

Schaeffer, Nora Cate, Dana Garbarski, Jeremy Freese, and Douglas W. Maynard. 2013. "An Interactional Model of the Call for Survey Participation: Actions and Reactions in the Survey Recruitment Call." Public Opinion Quarterly. Link to this publication

Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Jennifer Dykema. 2011. "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions." Public Opinion Quarterly 75, 5: 909-961. Link to this publication

Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Jennifer Dykema. 2011. "Coding the Behavior of Interviewers and Respondents to Evaluate Survey Questions: A Response," in Question Evaluation Methods: Contributing to the Science of Date Quality, edited by Jennifer Madans, Kristen Miller, Aaron Maitland, and Gordon Willis. New York: Wiley and Sons.

Garbarski, Dana, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema. 2011. "Are Interactional Behaviors Exhibited When the Self-Reported Health Question Is Asked Associated with Health Status?" Social Science Research, 40 (4, April): 1025-1036.

Maynard, Douglas W., Jeremy F. Freese. and Nora Cate Schaeffer. 2010. "Calling for Participation: Requests, Blocking Moves, and Rational (Inter)action in Survey Introductions." American Sociological Review, 75(5), 719-814. PMCID: PMC3116201

Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Jennifer L. Dykema. 2004. "A Multiple-Method Approach to Improving the Clarity of Closely Related Concepts: Distinguishing Legal and Physical Custody of Children." Pp. 475-502 in Methods for Testing and Evaluating Survey Questionnaires, edited by Stanley Presser, Jennifer M. Rothgeb, Mick P. Couper, Judith T. Lessler, Elizabeth Martin, Jean Martin, and Eleanor Singer. New York: Wiley.

Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Stanley Presser. 2003. "The Science of Asking Questions." Annual Review of Sociology, 29: 65-88. Link to this publication

Schaeffer, Nora Cate and Douglas W. Maynard. 2002. "Occasions for Intervention: Interactional Resources for Comprehension in Standardized Survey Interviews." In Standardization and Tacit Knowledge: Interaction and Practice in the Survey Interview, edited by Douglas W. Maynard, Hanneke Houtkoop-Steenstra, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Johannes van der Zouwen. New York: Wiley.

Dykema, Jennifer and Nora Cate Schaeffer. 2000. "Events, Instruments, and Reporting Errors." American Sociological Review 65(4):619-29.

Schaeffer, Nora Cate. 2000. "Asking Questions about Sensitive Topics: A Selective Overview." Pp. 105-122 in Arthur A. Stone, Jaylan S. Turkkan, Christine A. Bachrach, Jared B. Jobe, Howard S. Kurtzman, and Virginia S. Cain, eds. The Science of Self-Report: Implications for Research and Practice. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Departmental Areas of Interest:
Demography and Ecology
Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
Methods and Statistics
Social Psychology and Microsociology

Center for Demography and Ecology
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Institute for Research on Poverty
Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin Survey Center

Research Interest Statement:
My research interests are focused on measurement in social research surveys. Recent analyses have focused on the interaction between the interviewer and respondent in answering both standardized survey questions and also cognitive assessments conducted as part of a survey interview. Another project examines the request for survey participation. In both lines of work we examine measurement and recruitment as interactional phenomena. In addition, I continue to work with collaborators in issues of question design for survey interviews.