CAPI, or Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing, is a simple idea. Instead of collecting data on paper questionnaires, interviewers use portable computers to enter data directly via a keyboard. Computer-assisted interviewing has been used in the past for, for example, telephone surveys but it is only in the last five years or so that it has been used for face-to-face interviews.
Quality control will be done at the same time of conducting interviews and it would be a good method to have a reliable data.
CAPI claims to enhance the quality of survey data in a number of ways:
• Occurring problems within the questionnaire are eliminated.
• interviewers cannot miss questions or ask the wrong questions
• questions are ‘customized’ correctly
• mathematical calculations can be carried out within the program
• the computer checks for inadmissible or inconsistent responses
• errors from separate data entry are eliminated.
CAPI capabilities have two main advantages over paper and pencil techniques. First, the possibility of error from interviewers failing to follow instructions is eliminated; they cannot follow a wrong route and ask inappropriate questions nor can they inadvertently skip over questions. Secondly, the interview flows much more smoothly since the interviewer does not have to keep referring to earlier answers to establish the correct route through the questions.