Although studies on ethnicity-of-interviewer effects demonstrate that the interviewer’s ethnic background influences respondents’ answers, they often do not take the multifaceted nature and context-dependency of ethnic identifications into account. We aim to contribute to the literature in two respects. First, we discern two aspects of ethnic identification—defining oneself as being ethnic and expressing feelings of belonging to ethnic groups—of which the latter is expected to be more sensitive to interviewer effects. Second, we compare three, instead of two, interview situations—being interviewed by (a) a majority member, (b) a co-ethnic, and (c) a non-co-ethnic minority member—as to empirically scrutinize the scope of interviewer effects while disentangling whether they are cross-ethnically accommodating (respondents stress their similarities with the non-co-ethnic interviewer) or ethnically affirming (respondents emphasize their own ethnic identity). Our hypotheses are tested on a sample of 225 Surinamese, Turkish, and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands. As expected, no interviewer effects occur regarding being ethnic. Regarding feeling ethnic, however, respondents’ identifications in the interviewer situation with a majority member vis-à-vis those in both other situations reveal an accommodating interviewer effect.

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Keywords Ethnic identity, Cross-ethnic accommodation, Ethnic affirmation, Intergroup relations, Interviewer effects
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022022115576961, hdl.handle.net/1765/78071
Journal Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
van Bochove, M.E, Burgers, J.P.L, Geurts, A, de Koster, W, & van der Waal, J. (2015). Questioning ethnic identity. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(5), 652–666. doi:10.1177/0022022115576961