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Lecture 3

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Sisi Tran

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Lecture 3 January 22, 2014 Advantages of Surveys • Cost Effective o Easy to get large samples o Cover large geographic areas • Easy to Analyze o Data entry and stats • Familiar to Most People o Generally don’t make people apprehensive • Less Intrusive than other Lab Methods Disadvantages of Surveys • Low response rates o Super easy for people to overlook and dismiss survey research  • Inability to Probe Responses o No qualifying information o No nonverbal communication  • Cannot Guarantee that Responses are accurate o Respondents may intentionally falsify their info o Respondents may be unaware of their emotions/attitudes • Cannot Guarantee that Respondents are Real o Spouses sometimes complete survey’s on the others’ behalf o Kids complete survey as a goof • Limits Samples to Only the Literate Folks General Considerations • Clarify study goals o Survey should be developed to directly address study goals • Develop plan for statistical analyses during design stage o Know how each question will be analyzed • Keep the questionnaires short o Long questionnaires get less response than short ones o Avoid temptation to ask questions because “it would be interesting to  know” • Make it Convenient Question Examples “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the federal government has  gotten totally out of control and threatens our basic liberties unless we clear house and  commit to drastic change?” • Loaded question that seems to have it’s mind already made up Lecture 3 January 22, 2014 “Thinking about the health care law that was passed earlier this, would oyu favour  repealoing the new law to keep it from going into effect, or would you oppose repealing  the new law?” • What law?  Question Wording  • Strive for Objectivity  o Don’t lead respondents into giving a desired answer o Maintain a neutral, non­judgmental tone o The questions should be non­threatening • Keep the language simple and concise • Be careful with modifying adjectives and adverbs • Avoid asking more than one question at a time o Avoid double­barrelled questions Example: “How would you feel about building an ice arena downtown where the railroad property  has been sitting unused for a number of years?” • Slightly leading  ▯saying that the property is being unused so you might be  inclined to agree to the arena since the area is unused  ▯ therefore poor question To make it better: “An ice arena should be built on the railroad property downtown 1 = strongly agree 2 = agree 3 = disagree 4 = strongly disagree Question Responses • Use mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories  • Re
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