Generalized Electronic Interviewing System (GEIS): a program and scripting method for conducting interviews in multiple modes.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Behavior research methods, instruments, & computers: a journal of the Psychonomic Society, Inc 12/2004; 36(4):784-96. DOI: 10.3758/BF03206559
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A program called the Generalized Electronic Interviewing System (GEIS) was developed for conducting interviews, using computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) and interactive voice response (IVR) modes without the need for a programmed interface. GEIS questionnaires were prepared using a common script syntax in all supported modes. Scripted development allowed for rapid interview development without the need for programming. A GEIS script specified the following: question texts, including variable texts; answer option texts; numeric codes for answers; range check information; logical question-branching information; interview status information; do-loop information; and IVR information, such as key codes and voice messages. GEIS thoroughly checked scripts for logical or syntactical errors. GEIS required SAS Version 8.0, and survey data were accumulated within SAS data sets. An application of GEIS to conduct a survey involving CATI, IVR, and a combined hybrid method is described. The CATI results deviated in the direction expected for sensitive questions, whereas IVR obtained a small sample size, rendering the results unreliable. However, the hybrid method was found to provide more accurate telephone survey data on alcohol consumption than did CATI alone. The program may be downloaded from the Psychonomic Society Web archive at

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