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Political Science 3N06 2012 L13.docx

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Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 3N06 2012 Lecture 13 Surveys  When wording survey questions, be aware of the following pitfalls: 7) Ability to answer o Questions that are beyond a respondent’s ability to accurately respond are not good questions o ask questions in a way to get around it 8) False premises o Questions containing a premise that respondents might not agree with o Answering the question requires accepting a statement that may not be true for the respondent o you are presuming something that might not be true o you have to be wary of the data you will get 9) Distant future intentions o What are your intentions (voting, personal, etc) 10 years from now? o Answers to these types of questions are usually not reliable predictors of behaviour 10) Negatives (particularly double negatives) can be a problem o they can be a problem o with double negative- they lead to confusing questions o when you insert negatives in any question- it could skew the data o they cast a cloud on the results 11) Answer choices should be balanced o Very Strongly Agree, Strongly Agree, Agree, No opinion o What about Disagree, Strongly Disagree, Very Strongly Disagree? 12) Answer choices should not overlap o categories have to be mutually exclusive Context effects and order effects while doing a survey your mind is being sculpted by previous questions C) The Survey as an organic whole (question order effects)  It is important to reflect upon the impact of the entire survey on respondents  For example, early questions can socialize a respondent with respect to later questions  They can lead a respondent to answer a later question in a way that they w
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