Research Survey - "" t;~i ~flir ~{i lq I The...

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Unformatted text preview: ::'! ,:"", t;~i ~flir' ~{i lq I ! The general attitude toward public opinion re- search is further complicated by scientifically un- sound MsurveysU that nonetheless capture people's attention because of the topics they cover and/or their ufindings.u A good example is the uRite Re- portsU on human sexuality. While enjoying consid- erable attention in the popular press, Shere Rite was roundly criticized by the research community for her data-collection methods. For example, a 1987 Rite report was based on questionnaires com- pleted by women around the country-but which women? Rite reported that she distributed some 100,000 questionnaires through various organiza- . , tions, and around 4,500 were returned. Now 4,500 and 100,000 are large numbers in the context of survey sampling. However, given ~ Hite's research methods, her 4,500 respondents ;~ ~ didn't necessarily represent U.S. women any more V) than the LiteraryDiges(s enormous 1936sample '+- representedthe U.S.electoratewhen their 2 million () sampleballotsindicatedthat AIfLandonwouldbury . ~ . FDR in a landslide. ~ ~ Sometimes,people use the pretense ofsurvey ~ .~ researchforquite differentpurposes. Forexample, , ~ you may have received a telephone call indicating ~-.( you've been selectedfor a survey, only to find the l- firstquestionwas UHow would you liketo make ..-) ~. thousands of dollars a week right there in your own =Y ~ home?MOr you may have been told you could win ~-:f? a prize if you could name the president whose pic- '-.J :t: ture is on the penny. (Tellthem it's Elvis.) Unfortu- ( . ~ nately,a few unscrupulous telemarketers try to 4J Z preyon the general cooperationpeople have given ~ ~ to survey researchers. ~ J) By the same token, political parties and chari- ~ . ~ table organizations have begun conducting phony ~ ~ 'surveys.MOften under the guise of collecting pub--' lic opinion about some issue, callers ultimately ask respondents for a monetary contribution. Recent political campaigns have produced an- other form of bogus survey, called the Mpushpoll.M ~ ~ 'in ~l !:' \ <;:> ii'r ~ I':. i' ::1 ~ I I: i' I. '. :I'/]' 1 j-.. ......... \.J .-.:; t::! ~ S\ ~ :, i i ! , , 244 . Chapter9: SurveyResearch ..... f: \t questionnaire A document containing questions and other types of items designed to solicit information ap- propriate for analysis. Questionnaires are used primar- ily in survey research but also in experiments, field research. and other modes of observation. ,.. .' , .-. ..... Here's what the American Association for Public Opinion Polling had to say in condemning this practice: A upush poilu is a telemarketing technique in which telephone calls are used to canvass po-, tential voters, feeding them false or misleading uinformationu about a candidate under the pre- tense of taking a poll to see how this uinforma- tionMaffects voter preferences. In fact, the in- tent is not to measure public opinion but to manipulate it-to MpushMvoters away from one candidate and toward the opposing candi-...
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Research Survey - "" t;~i ~flir ~{i lq I The...

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