The Computer-Mediated Panel Study. Methodology.
NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT CHAPEL HILL INST FOR RESEARCH IN SOCIAL SCIENCE
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The UNC Computer Administered Panel Study CAPS is an innovative data collection procdure which combines positive qualities of several social psychology methodologies and offers distinct advantages over more traditional data collection procedures. The project allowed for the collection of a vast amount of data from each of a large sample of individuals, presenting a more complete and in-depth picture of the life history, personality, attitudes and behavior of each participant than is possible with most methodologies. Moreover, these data have a longitudinal component allowing one to follow the development of the respondents and their social relationships ove the duration of the project and offering the potential for long-range follow-up in the future. The computer-based system of administration not only made it possible to collect such a large volume of data, but it did so efficiently, eliminating the work and risk associated with manual coding and data entry. It also permitted the precise measurement of behavioral variables such as time spent on each task which are often difficult to gather in more traditional settings, and the selection of items or tasks based on prior information about the respondent or the based on prior information about the respondent or the respondents own previous answers.