Carnegie Mellon University

Daily Interview Procedures


In three of the five cold studies (PCS2, PMBC, PCS3), daily telephone interviews were conducted to assess participants’ daily mood, health behaviors, experience of physical symptoms, and social interactions.  Participants in PCS2 were interviewed on 3 evenings a week for 2 weeks (4 weekdays and 2 weekend days), whereas participants in PMBC and PCS3 were interviewed over 14 consecutive days (10 weekdays and 4 weekend days).  Interviews lasted approximately 15 minutes.

Interview Scheduling

Interview appointment times were assigned to participants in 30 minute blocks from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Each participant’s interviews were completed at the same time each evening, and conducted by the same interviewer.  Participants were called at the beginning of their scheduled timeslots.  If unable to reach participants during the scheduled time, interviewers continued to call participants throughout the evening.  If necessary, interviewers made arrangements to call participants at different times if such flexibility was needed on certain days.

Social Network List

Prior to the interviewing period, participants were asked for information about members of their social networks with whom they were most likely to interact during the interview period. They were asked to provide the names (first name and last initial) and ages of network members and to assign the nature of their relationship with that member to one of 20 social domains (e.g. someone at work, close friend, spouse/partner, roommate).  Each network member could be assigned to only one social domain.  In the event that a social network member could potentially be assigned more than one classification (e.g., roommate and close friend), participants were instructed to choose the domain that best described their relationship with that person.  This information was used to compile a numbered Social Network List, which was provided to interviewers for their reference during the telephone interviews.  On occasion, participants would mention during the course of an interview interacting with someone who was not included in their Social Network List.  In these cases, interviewers were to add that person to an Addition to Network Sheet, record the same information about that person as had been obtained previously for other network members, and whether the participant interacted with that person by phone or in-person at least once every two weeks.

Group Interactions

When recording a group interaction that involved more than five people, interviewers asked participants to identify the five most significant people included in that interaction.  Only information pertaining to these five people was then recorded for the interview.

Missed Interviews

Participants were expected to complete all interviews.  However, in the event that an interview was missed, a make-up interview was scheduled for an evening some time during the two weeks following the interview period.  In PCS3, participants were not permitted to make up interviews on days that were within the 24-hour period of the stress lab session.  Every effort was made to ensure that participants made up all missed interviews.  In PCS3 and PMBC, participants were dropped from the study if they missed more than 4 of the 14 evening interviews.  (All participants in PCS2 completed all six interviews.)