You are conducting a study of adolescent risk- taking behavior, which means most

You are conducting a study of adolescent risk- taking behavior, which means most of your questions are going to involve sensitive information and questions that might make respondents uncomfortable (e.g., substance use, sexual behavior, delinquent activity). You do not want to ask irrelevant questions that waste participants’ time in the beginning of your interview, but recognize that opening your interview with “how often have you used oxycodone” might be a little jarring for participants. Since you want to be as efficient as possible with your interview questions, can you use small talk with the participant prior to the interview, and an extended introduction to the study, to build rapport? Since you are the interviewer and they are the participants, are you essentially asking innocuous questions before the sensitive questions, except in this context you are not recording responses to the small talk? Does it matter what questions are asked if the goal is to build rapport with participants to increase their likelihood of responding honestly to sensitive questions?

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