Planning the Project - Planning the Project Sometimes when...

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Planning the Project Sometimes when you conduct a survey, it is because you personally want to find out information about something (as is the case with most professors who conduct research). Other times, there is a sponsor to whom you are accountable—someone (or some company) who wants certain information and is paying you to get accurate information on this topic.
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Types of Information When conducting a survey, there are numerous types of information the researcher can obtain: 1. Attitudes (ranging from politics to marriage to education to sports, etc.) 2. Behaviors (ranging from delinquency to employment to religiosity, etc.) 3. Demographics (gender, race, educational attainment, age, etc.) This is only a small list—there are numerous other things the researcher can find out about via a survey (as you will see during this course).
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The Value of Information Obtained From A Survey While it sounds obvious, it is extremely important that the researcher knows exactly what kind of information is needed from the survey; to do this the researcher needs to find out exactly what the sponsor wants (or s/he determines this if the researcher is collecting data for his/ her own research). You don’t want to be collecting data on things the sponsor/the researcher doesn’t want. The value of survey information depends on three factors: (1) The cost of making an error regarding the topic at hand; (2) how much uncertainty exists about the topic at hand (3) the amount of uncertainty that is reduced on the topic at hand. Each of these three is explained in more detail in the following slides.
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Cost of Errors The main issues here deal with either not doing something when you should have, or doing something when you shouldn’t have. 1. “Go” errors deal with doing something when you shouldn’t have—like buying stock in Enron just before all the scandals happened. 2. “No-go” errors deal with not doing something when you should have—like not going to the UCM basketball game and your seat was the winning ticket for a great prize package. While it is not easy to do, if you can develop a survey
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Planning the Project - Planning the Project Sometimes when...

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