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Cognitive approach to studying performace in business surveys
Mojca Bavdaz, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics 
*Irena Bolko, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics 

Keywords: Data editors, business respondents, response process, mental representations

The paper presents the application of cognitive psychology findings to study two phases of statistics production that rely on expert knowledge, namely filling in questionnaires and editing collected data in a business survey on investments. In the first phase of the empirical study we will conduct in-depth interviews with various experts (data editor, business respondent and a subjects-matter specialist)to gain insight into how editors and respondents understand and interpret the survey questions and instructions and how they build the mental representation as well as to familiarize with challenges in data editing. Based on the results we will design the second phase where business respondents and data editors will be presented a set of computer-assisted cognitive exercises, requesting to form a decision by identification task and errors detection task. Through the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information we attempt to build a model of professional experts` mental representations. We will also compare the performance of experts and novices on cognitive tasks and observe the effect of introducing additional educational elements into the response process. The research findings aim to provide a scientific basis for further improvement of questionnaires with respect to better data quality and optimization of statistical production.