Category Archives: Survey Research

Askers Make Answers Unreliable

Askers, as is the case for instruments and settings, affect answers and, thereby, make them unreliable. Answers may be accurate and correspond to what’s really going on, or they may not. Because askers only have answers, it’s impossible for them … Continue reading

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Asking Settings Make Answers Unreliable

Settings in which questions are asked and answers given make answers unreliable; that is, answers that may, or may not, be accurate. This happens because components in the two types of settings (societal and immediate, discussed below) skew answers, and … Continue reading

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Unrepresentative Samples and Results: Fatal Flaws in Survey Research

Updated December 8, 2020 Unrepresentative samples and, therefore, unrepresentative results, are fatal flaws in survey research. With rare exception, all survey research efforts (polls, surveys, interviews, et al.) are unrepresentative, thereby producing unreliable answers; that is, answers that may, or … Continue reading

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Asking Instruments Make Answers Unreliable

Asking instruments (polls, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and all other types of asking) produce unreliable answers; that is, answers that may, or may not, be accurate. The only way to know if answers are accurate is to check or verify … Continue reading

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Nonresponse A Fatal Flaw in Survey Research

Updated December 8, 2020 Nonresponse–that is, not answering when asked—is a fatal flaw in survey research. Regardless of the type of asking instrument (poll, survey, self-administered questionnaire, computer assisted telephone interview, et al.) and regardless of whether the asking effort … Continue reading

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9+ Ways Respondents Make Answers Unreliable

Respondents make answers unreliable—that is, answers that may, or may not, correspond to what’s really going on—because they1. sometimes lie,2. often do not have relevant and/or correct information,3. and because their values and norms affect answers, as do their4. interests … Continue reading

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2020 Election Polls, Like All Polls, Not Representative

It has been pointed out by many—including Finn McHugh in “Why the polls keep getting it wrong” and Mary Kay Ling and Doree Lewak, “Why election polls were so wrong again in 2020,”—that the 2020 election polls were not representative … Continue reading

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Pollsters Wrong Again In 2020 Blame Nonresponse

Updated November 17, 2020 Pollsters, wrong in 2020, as in 2016, seek the source of their ongoing errors. Some, for instance, Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey, blame nonresponse. As he puts it in an Axios post: `“The major … Continue reading

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Survey Researchers Foster Confusion When They Ask About Race And Ethnicity

Survey researchers foster confusion when they ask about race and ethnicity–and they acknowledge they’re doing so!–and, because they’re addicted to asking, they continue to ask about race and ethnicity. As stated in the Newsletter below, which I received from a … Continue reading

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Efforts To Make Answers Reliable Fail

Survey researchers/askers are always trying to make their always-unreliable answers reliable and always fail to do so.  Answers are always unreliable because answers are always affected/skewed by questions (e.g., wording), askers (e.g., gender affects answers), respondents (e.g., their memory), and … Continue reading

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