This article examines recent evidence on racial effects in interviewing northern urban black respondents on both racial and nonracial topics. It examines such effects by age, education, and several other background variables, and provides some evidence on which responses are distorted: those given to white interviewers, or those to black. Questions dealing with militant protest and hostility to whites showed the greatest sensitivity to interviewer effect. Reports of racial discrimination, poor living conditions, and personal background showed little interviewer influence.
Howard Schuman is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Detroit Area Study at the University of Michigan. Jean Converse is a Research Associate with the Detroit Area Study project, from which the present article is drawn.