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is more efficient for the respondent to come to the interviewer than for the interviewer to go to the respondent. In computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), the respondent sits in front of a computer terminal and answers a questionnaire on the computer screen by using the keyboard or a mouse. Help screens and courteous error messages are also provided. The colorful screens and on-and off-screen stimuli add to the respondent's interest and involvement in the task. 77) In the traditional mail interview, questionnaires are mailed to pre-selected potential respondents. A typical mail interview package consists of the outgoing envelope, cover letter, questionnaire, return envelope, and possibly an incentive. The respondents complete and return the questionnaires. There is no verbal interaction between the researcher and the respondent. However, before data collection can begin, the respondents need to be at least broadly identified. Therefore, an initial task is to obtain a valid mailing list. Mailing lists can be compiled from telephone directories, customer rosters, or association membership rolls or purchased from publication subscription lists or commercial mailing list companies. Regardless of its source, a mailing list should be current and closely related to the population of interest. The researcher must also make decisions about the various elements of the mail interview package (see Table 6.1 in the text). 78) In mechanical observation, mechanical devices, rather than human observers, record the phenomenon being observed. These devices may or may not require the respondents' direct participation. They are used for continuously recording ongoing behavior for later analysis. Of the mechanical devices that do not require respondents' direct participation, the ACNielsen audimeter is best known. The audimeter is attached to a television set to continually record what channel the set is tuned to. Recently, people meters have been introduced. People meters attempt to measure not only the channels to which a set is tuned, but also who is watching. Other common examples include turnstiles that record the number of people entering or leaving a building, and traffic counters placed across streets to determine the number of vehicles passing certain locations. On-site cameras (still, motion picture, or video) are increasingly used by retailers to assess package designs, counter space, floor displays, and
traffic flow patterns. Technological advances such as the Universal Product Code (UPC) have made a major impact on mechanical observation. The UPC system, together with optical scanners, allows for mechanized information collection regarding consumer purchases by product category, brand, store type, price, and quantity. 79) Content analysis can involve tedious coding and analysis. However, microcomputers and mainframes can be used to facilitate coding and analysis. The manifest content of the object can be computer coded. Analytical categories for classifying the units of analysis are developed and the communication is broken down according to prescribed rules. The observed frequencies of category codes can be aggregated and compared on the criteria of interest using