Survey Researchers Use Surveys Known to be Unreliable

Survey researchers and those who rely on survey research use surveys known to be unreliable.  For example, in a Chicago Tribune article (4/28/16, sec. 1, p. 16) discussing a Harvard University survey of 18-29 year olds about capitalism and socialism, it’s acknowledged:

“The results of the survey are difficult to interpret” 

“Capitalism can mean different things to different people”

“It is an open question whether young people’s attitudes on socialism and capitalism  show that they are rejecting free markets as a matter of principle or whether those views are simply an expression of broader frustrations”

“`I certainly don’t know what’s going through their heads.'” (Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup)

For more acknowledgements by survey researchers of the flaws of survey research, see my blog post: Counter-Literature to Survey Research.

I discuss the limitations of survey research, as well as acknowledgements of these limitations in my book, The Problem with Survey Research.

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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