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Gordon Willis

Adjunct Odum Instructor and Questionnaire Design Consultant

Gordon Willis is Cognitive Psychologist in the Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute. Prior to that he was Senior Research Methodologist at Research Triangle Institute, and he also worked for over a decade at the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, to develop methods for developing and testing survey questions. Willis attended Oberlin College, and received a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Northwestern University. He now works mainly in the area of the development and evaluation of surveys on cancer risk factors, and focuses on questionnaire pretesting. He has produced the “Questionnaire Appraisal System” for use in evaluating draft survey questions, and has written the book “Cognitive Interviewing: A Tool for Improving Questionnaire Design.” He also co-teaches a graduate-level questionnaire design course at the Joint Program for Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland, and serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). His research interests have recently turned to cross-cultural issues in self-report surveys and research studies, and in particular the development of best practices for questionnaire translation, and the development of pretesting techniques to evaluate the cross-cultural comparability of survey questions.

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