October 23, 2013
Political Science 3N06
Political Science 3N06 2012 Lecture 6d Surveys
C LOSE ENDED QUESTIONS :
- When wording survey questions, be aware of the following pitfalls:
- 7) Ability to answer
- Questions that are beyond a respondent‟s ability to accurately respond are not good
- Have to think about whether or not the audience that is being surveyed has the knowledge
they‟re being asked about.
o What is your opinion of bill C22? (What is bill C22????)
o Can‟t assume that survey respondents know anything about this whatsoever.
- 8) False premises
- Questions containing a premise that respondents might not agree with
- Answering the question requires accepting a statement that may not be true for the
- Questions might assume something that is not true.
o “At what point in your life where you most prejudiced against ethnic minorities”
– assumes that at some point in your life you‟d been prejudice? Assuming
something about a respondent, which may not be true.
o Because of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, should we strengthen sanctions
o Who did you vote for in the last election?
- 9) Distant future intentions
- What are your intentions (voting, personal, etc) 10 years from now?
- Answers to these types of questions are usually not reliable predictors of behaviour
- It‟s not a good idea your sample, questions about distant future or intentions. It‟s not a
good to ask these questions if will be using this data to predict things.
o If behaviour ask about recent behaviour.
- 10) Negatives (particularly double negatives) can be a problem
o “Do you agree or disagree that Political Science students should not be required
to take 3N06 to graduate?”
Double negative; the problem is when you insert negatives inside of any
question, it can skew results.
Do you think the United States should forbid public speeches against
Do you think the US shouldn‟t allow public speeches against
- 11) Answer choices should be balanced
- Very Strongly Agree, Strongly Agree, Agree, No opinion
- What about Disagree, Strongly Disagree, Very Strongly Disagree?
- 12) Answer choices should not overlap
1 October 23, 2013
Political Science 3N06
Categories should be mutually exclusive and exhausted.
C) The Survey as an organic whole (question order effects)
- Think about the survey, as an organic „whole‟ Need to think about the impact that all of
these questions have.
o CONTEXT VS. ORDER EFFECT.
o While you are