PSYC 2360 Lecture Notes - Statistical Power, Linear Regression, Statistical Significance

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Published on 22 Jan 2013
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1/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
CHAPTER 6- SURVEYS & SAMPLING
Common in media (see BBC story)
The story: ―Motorists turn to public transport as fuel price bites‖ Daily Record
―MORE than three in five drivers are turning to public transport due to high fuel
prices, a survey has revealed. The survey by transport firm National Express
found 61 per cent of car users are definitely or probably considering using public
transport due to the rise in prices at the pumps‖
o what context was it asked in were they asked immediately after paying
for their gas
o was it representative how big was the sample etc.
o ―61% probably considering‖ … what does this really tell us, doesn‘t say
they actually are going to use public transport
Surveys
Involve the use of self-report measured variables in descriptive research
o (more often than not descriptive research, can be used for any type of
research but most commonly used for descriptive research)
Can be used to collect either qualitative data or quantitative data
Steps in developing surveys
1) Identify
o Types of questions to use
o Type of instrument to use (mail/ internet, phone, person-to-person)
2) Pilot test/ seek opinions from others
3) Work Out
o What demographic info to collect
o Administration procedures/ instructions
Types of questions
A) Fixed-format questions
o Yes-No
o Forced alternatives
alternatives (forcing them to choose between 2 or more options
you are guaranteed to get a response from anyone, you may not
feel comfortable choosing either of these but you are forced to
choose one so you get a response but the tradeoff is that you are
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forcing people into a category that they may not belong to)
―pigeon hold‖
Many things control me
Little in this world controls me
o Multiple choice
o Likert scales
(i.e. 1-2-3-4-5 OR very little somewhat a lot)
B) Free-format questions
Survey methods
Guide: Survey construction
1) Simple and direct
o Question:
My overall feelings and thoughts about myself are predominantly
favorable most of the time, leading me to feel pretty satisfied
about who I am.
this could be more direct, ―on the whole, I am satisfied
with myself‖, the researcher writes the question the other
way because they want to make sure it covers everything
and prime the reader but everyone can understand this
question, you need to play a balancing game and be more
specific
Have you ever suffered from auditory hallucinations?
This is a very direct question, depending on who you are
asking auditory hallucinations may not be simple enough,
not in everyone‘s vocabulary, ―have you ever heard voices
or sounds that might not have been real?‖
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2) Double-barreled questions
o ―Do you believe that airbags are unsafe and expensive?‖
it is a yes or no question, but there is two questions and they
may have different responses for each question, should be asking
these as two separate questions
3) Avoid loaded or leading questions
o Given the failure of welfare in the United States, do you feel welfare
programs should be eliminated?
(scale 1-5, not at all very much so)
You have explicitly stated that they are failing so it would
be harder for them to say they shouldn‘t be eliminated you
have created a context around them and this is going to
cause a bias
the research may want a loaded question but you need to
understand the effects of this.
o Do you agree?
(1) ―A freeze in nuclear weapons should be opposed because it
would do nothing to reduce the danger of thousands of nuclear
weapons already in place and would leave the Soviet Union in a
position of nuclear superiority.‖
(2) ―A freeze in nuclear weapons should be favored because it
would begin a much-needed process to stop everyone in the world
from building nuclear weapons now and reduce the possibility of
nuclear war in the future.‖
o Results:
58% agreed with (1), 56% agreed with (2), and 27% agreed with
both…
they are not agreeing with the actual question they are
agreeing with the context around them
4) Avoid negative wording
o Question:
I don‘t dislike eating ice cream every now and then.
―I like to eat ice cream every now and then‖
Ask questions in the way people are used to
5) Manage context
Sequencing questions:
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