Addiction to Survey Research

There’s an addiction to survey research.  By this I mean that those who ask questions (survey researchers), as well as those who rely on and promote survey research (almost everyone else), acknowledge and demonstrate the numerous and severe weaknesses of survey research–nevertheless they continue to ask, rely on, and promote survey research!  Think about it!  Survey researchers and their devotees know the errors of their way but continue to do what they know they shouldn’t–they’re addicted!

The addiction to asking and answers was (as far as I know) first mentioned in 1968 [Charles Cannell and Robert Kahn,  “Interviewing”, in Gardner Lindzey and Elliot Aronson, eds.,  Handbook of Social Psychology, 2ed ed. (Addison-Wesley, 1968), p. 589].

I discuss the extensive acknowledgement and documentation of the fatal flaws of survey research, and the wide-spread addiction to survey research, in Chapters 5 and 11, respectively, of The Problem with Survey Research.

I also comment on the addiction to survey research in my blog posts:  “Addiction To Polls“, and “Interviewer Lynn Barber Is Addicted to Interviewing“.

About georgebeam

George Beam is an educator and author. The perspectives that inform his interpretations of the topics of this blog–-as well as his other writings and university courses -–are system analysis, behaviorism, and Internet effects. Specific interests include quality management, methodology, and politics. He is Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science; and, previously, Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
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6 Responses to Addiction to Survey Research

  1. Pingback: Counter Literature to Survey Research | George Beam's Blog

  2. Pingback: Review of Andrew Hacker, “Who Knows the American Mind?” | George Beam's Blog

  3. Pingback: Interviewer Lynn Barber Is Addicted To Interviewing | George Beam's Blog

  4. Pingback: Snowball Sampling–Don’t Do That! | George Beam's Blog

  5. Pingback: Interviewer Effects Unexamined | George Beam's Blog

  6. Pingback: Survey Researchers Foster Confusion When They Ask About Race And Ethnicity | George Beam's Blog

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