Bad questionnaire and errors in poll questionaires

On this occasion we are going to make some considerations on how to identify a poorly constructed an opinion poll questionnaire.
Without prentender that this list is exhaustive, will point out some ways to identify errors in questions or parts of a questionnaire.

  • The questions used language or sociological categories that produce that respondents answered that they believe is expected to respond or misinterpret questions.

  • The respondent believes that must be identify - for example in a closed with options question - what is the correct answer. Not involved in the sense of expressing their views by an error in the way of asking and sometimes in the mode of lead pollster. He believes that it is like a game that has to guess the correct answer option.

  • Questions closed with options options are not mutually exclusive, either not exhausted all possibilities for response. So the alternatives are mutually independent and do not leave any aspect sociologically relevant is convenient to pilot test these questions (or the questionnaire). Occurs when a survey or a question has many instances for people that are not decided by any of the suggested alternatives, opting not to respond, point out missing some option or make verbalizaciones as "it depends" or "the question is poorly worded", or the "don't know" which isn't really a does not know. Sometimes reviewers and pollsters are right on wrong questions.

  • The answers are elusive and notoriously false. It happens on sensitive issues, to find the right way to ask and have questions in the questionnaire. Also by the misuse of certain words in the question that lead to the above-mentioned responses by respondents.

  • There is an overwhelming majority of favourable response or adverse responses.

  • Redundancy: wasted resources asking something they already know.

These are some ways to identify mistakes in the questions of the questionnaires of opinion polls from the responses obtained after the field work.

Surveys on products from the market

Within the implementation of the opinion polls to marketing and market research prominently occupy surveys on products.
A survey of product, as part of a plan of marketing of a company or a more general market study, usually only one cog in the processes of research and decision-making process of a company, but they can - of course - be analysed separately.
We will mention some common survey carrying out market research on products sold.

  • Pilot surveys on new products. Here, there are innumerable variants, some of which are true social experiments, and which can be combined with the display, tasting, etc. of products as well as quantitative studies.

  • Surveys on the concept of a service, product: meaning, social representations to generate conscious and unconscious associations.

  • Brand-product surveys: new marcas-producto, variations in branding or analysis of changes in the perception of the consumer of a brand-product.

  • Surveys on acceptability of products: new products, variations on the same product.

  • Surveys on packaging: the presentation changes, changes in content, slogans, in the amount of product. They can be of acceptability or preliminary investigation of changes in packaging, or changes in course.

  • Survey on marks independently of products and his names. Surveys about products or services: marks internet, naming, slogans, social representations of consumers and customers linked to the product.

  • Surveys on sales and distribution: on the structure of the sale of the product, on points of sale, how to sell it.

These are some typical ways in which surveys public - not, but customers, users or consumers of products - can be used in research of market or marketing products.

Surveys and accidental sampling

Opinion polls carried out by accidental sampling of the survey is not random.

Accidental sampling are characterized method is selected without the person being surveyed, cases are chosen to have at hand.

Examples of accidental sample surveys are what make the radio and television journalists.

These surveys are not representative and can never know how reliable the sample is selected.

As a research about public opinion is unreliable.

Provided that presents the opinion of the way we run a double risk of having a biased sample.

First, as the sample is casual, may not be at all representative, and even that interested people try to be surveyed.

In that case, the bias of the sample increases.

But secondly, if the survey is planned or executed from a media or institution with a clear profile or defined interests, who agree to be interviewed by such means shall be persons of similar ideological.

An example of this is the surveys of online newspapers, where readers vote who they are, a universe is clearly not representative.

A definition of survey

We discuss the definition of "survey" that provides the academic Manuel Garcia Ferrando (1992:141), who says:

"The survey is a technique that utilza a set of standardized research procedures by which collects and analyzes a series of data from a sample of cases representative of the wider population or universe, of which aims to explore, describe, predict and or explain a number of characteristics. "

Here García Ferrando is very ambiguous to use words like "method" and "procedures."

The author defines survey as a method or quantitative research, which in turn can use different "standard procedures", which actually means data recording techniques subordinates to research.

It is highly questionable whether the survey to predict, because the investigation is complex but never based on final data from more than one time in a reality of dynamic phenomena and causes by many variables.

There is no epistemological justification for claiming that a survey to predict, since in any case, should be a highly confirmed theory that allows predictions or forecasts in science.
Unless, of course, to pursue practical or political objectives.

Survey and research and as an instrument of data collection.

One of the difficulties of providing a definition of what a survey is, first, a survey called two different things in the investigation.

Survey is called the method or technique to relieve data using an instrument such as the questionnaire and survey procedure is called to make a quantitative social research using a questionnaire.

It may seem the same but it is not. If a researcher wants to supplement a social study of public opinion or qualitative data and is a project developed with defined assumptions and other data already obtained, in that case if it decides to conduct a survey is merely using a data record.

In this respect the survey is similar to a camera or microscope, bridging the gap.

However, if the investigator made another quantitative study from scratch, and should pose variables, defining units of analysis, sample design, develop scales to measure attitudes, determining a permissible error, and a questionnaire survey may call the whole investigation.

The respondent to the survey questions of opinion

When performing a social survey or an opinion poll is important to know how and what to ask not only for research but also to maximize the responsiveness of the respondents.
In this sense, knowing how to formulate the questions thinking of the respondent can be crucial to the success of the survey.
It is important to bring the motivation of the respondent to ensure honesty in responding and collaboration.
To do this the good presentation of the respondent is fundamental: to take the appropriate credentials or certification, good presence, experience in handling the situation, the interviewer know what you are doing in order to evacuate any doubts of the respondents.
It is important to have a proper introduction to the survey in particular and transmit to the respondent to answer the idea that you bring something, that the survey is important to him or to society and that their opinion is valuable and will be taken into account.
A guiding principle of the polls is that the respondent should always be satisfied, as well respond with more interest next time.
It is important that questions allude to the subject's experiences, their desires and to channel deep thoughts: the worse the respondent's answer is placed over another person.
The survey questions should encourage the role of the interviewee, thus they respond better, draw their opinions more authentic and will be pleased to respond.

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