Information for participants

If your household has been chosen for an interview with the American Voices Project, you will have received a letter in the mail from Stanford University. To learn more about the project, please read our frequently asked questions below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN VOICES PROJECT?
The American Voices Project is the country’s first comprehensive effort to listen to people across the country to find out how they’re actually doing. It’s not a standard survey, but a commitment to listen. The results will be used to learn about what’s going well, what needs to be improved, and how we might make our neighborhoods and country work better. We will cover the following types of topics:

  • Defining events that have shaped your life

  • What your typical day is like

  • What’s going well for you and what’s not going so well

  • How we might build communities – and a larger society – that works better

WILL I BE COMPENSATED FOR MY TIME?
Yes. As a token of our appreciation, we will provide $60 for those who have been selected into our study and are interviewed.

HOW IS THE INTERVIEW SCHEDULED?
Two professional interviewers from Stanford University will come to your home to schedule an interview with you. The interviewers who come to your home will have an AVP identification badge. We will work around your schedule and make an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. This interview can take place at your home or wherever is convenient for you.

CAN I SET UP AN INTERVIEW NOW?
Yes, you don’t have to wait for us to visit to schedule an interview. If you’d like, just call us at 650-724-6912 to schedule it. We’ll find a time and place for the interview that’s good for you.

IS THIS A GOVERNMENT SURVEY? 
No. The American Voices Project (AVP) is a joint initiative of Stanford University, Princeton University, the American Institutes for Research, and a coalition of Federal Reserve Banks.

HOW WAS I CHOSEN?
We do not know the names of anyone who lives at your house. Rather, your household was randomly selected to be part of this study, a technique that ensures that we’ll be hearing from a cross-section of the entire population. We cannot talk to the millions of people in this country – that would cost too much and take too long. Instead, we scientifically select a sample of households, and we choose one or more persons from those households to participate in this experience. This ensures that our sample properly represents everyone in the country.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
By participating, you’ll help us make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, you’ll help us find out what’s actually happening in the country, and you’ll contribute to the knowledge needed to make our neighborhoods and country work better. And of course we’ll also compensate you fairly for your time!

WILL MY ANSWERS BE KEPT PRIVATE?
Yes. All members of our research team are legally required to keep all information provided by participants confidential and secure and to ensure that no one can be identified as having participated in the study.

DO I HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?
No. Your help with the study is completely voluntary. Most people find the interview very enjoyable. Some of the questions may, however, be sensitive for some people. You may choose not to answer any question for any reason and may stop the interview at any time.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Interviews take about 2-3 hours. A few interviews take a little less or a little more time. We will complete the interview at whatever time works best for you.

WHERE DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Call 650-724-6912 to learn more about the study or to schedule an interview.

Call 650-723-2480 for information about your rights as a participant and your privacy or visit https://researchcompliance.stanford.edu/panels/hs/forms/for-participants.