Ch 4: Test Yourself

3d human with a red question mark

How would you rewrite any of the online polls by this newspaper?

Or this daily poll?

What are the errors in this Bad Survey? Suggest alternative wordings.

1. Are you in favor of cable TV bringing hard-core pornography into your living rooms?

2. How often did you check your Facebook page?

3. Do you like using Twitter and Instagram?

Answers

1. Leading question, biased wording: (a) rewrite by at least saying “do you approve or disapprove of cable TV….”; (b) avoid “hard-core pornography” and perhaps rewrite as “adult, sexually explicit content”; (c) clarify “cable TV” — pay-per-view, basic cable, or TV in general?

2. Question does not specify a time period. The past week? Today? Can people reasonable remember how often in a week they looked at Facebook. Suggest a time frame that makes sense. Also, this assumes respondent has a Facebook account, so a filter question is needed first to ask if they use Facebook and then branch to this item.

3. Double-barreled question: asking about two different web sites when respondent might only use one. Again, a filter question is needed asking if they are familiar with these websites, then ask how often they use them, in two separate questions.

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