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Online survey, best kept secret

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  • 1. Online Survey, Best Kept SecretDefinition Survey, in statistics, a method of collecting data in which people are asked to answer a number of questions (usually in the form of a questionnaire). An opinion poll is an example of a survey. The reliability of a surveys results depends on whether the sample of people from which the information has been collected is free from bias and sufficiently large.Early Pioneer of SurveyCLICK HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO SECRET SURVEYDownload this document if link is not clickableGeorge Gallup (1901-1984), American public opinion analyst and statistician. George HoraceGallup was born in Jefferson, Iowa, and educated at the University of Iowa. He was head of thejournalism department at Drake University (1929-1931), professor of journalism and advertisingat Northwestern University (1931-1932), and professor at the Pulitzer School of Journalism,Columbia University (1935-1937).In 1935 he founded and became director of the American Institute for Public Opinion, and in 1936he established the British Institute of Public Opinion. Gallup was a pioneer in the use of statisticalmethods for measuring the interest of readers in the features and advertisements of magazinesand newspapers and for determining public opinion on general issues.He extended his research to include the reactions of radio audiences and founded the AudienceResearch Institute in 1939. He directed research for many organizations, won numerous awards,and wrote several books. He is best known for the Gallup poll, public opinion surveys on politics.General Acceptability.Opinion polls are generally accepted as useful tools by business, political organizations, the massmedia, and government as well as in academic research. Hundreds of public opinion polling firmsoperates around the world. Best known in the U.S. are the organizations, such as the Gallup Poll,American consumer opinion and Harris Poll, the findings of which regularly appear in major
  • 2. newspapers.In business, polls are used to test consumers preferences and to discover what it is about aproduct that gives it appeal. Responses to commercial polls aid in planning marketing andadvertising strategies and in making changes in a product to increase its sales.In politics, polls are used to obtain information about voters attitudes toward issues andcandidates, to put forward candidates with winning potential, and to plan campaigns. Pollingorganizations have also been successful in predicting the outcome of elections. In addition, bypolling voters on Election Day, it is often possible to determine the probable winner even beforethe voting booths close.Agencies use quantitative research to determine a finalCourse of action. This type of research uses close-ended questions in which answers are selectedfrom a set list. This enables the researcher to determine the exact percentage of people whoanswered yes or no to a question or the exact percentage choosing answer a, b, or c.One of the most common quantitative research techniques is the survey in which researchers usea questionnaire to gain information from a large group of people, called a sample. Statisticalstudies show that if the sample is large enough, about 1,000 people, and is representative of aparticular group (for example, working mothers who buy disposable diapersThen the findings from the sample are considered true, or statistically valid, and can be extendedto the entire group of consumers in that category. The findings provided by quantitative researchare therefore conclusive in a way that qualitative research cannot be.Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are heavy users of public opinion pollinginformation, especially political information that helps to predict elections or gauge the popularityof government officials and candidates. The publics attitude toward various social, economic,and international issues is also considered newsworthy.Governments use opinion polls to tap public sentiment about issues of interest. In addition,government agencies use polling methodology to determine unemployment rates, crime rates,and other social and economic indicators.Polls have been employed extensively in academic research, particularly in the social sciences,where they have been proven over the years.Procedures
  • 3. Public opinion polling involves procedures to draw a representative sample of the populationunder study. If, for example, one is studying the attitudes of all adults in the U.S., the surveyorganization would seek to draw up a list of the entire adult population of the country and thenselect at random a sample to be surveyed.When proper techniques are used and the sample is large enough-1000 to 1500 people-theresults obtained are likely to be very close to the results one would get if the entire populationwere surveyed. Thus, if 60 percent of the sample says it approves of the presidents policies,statistical theory shows that if the entire population were surveyed, the probability is 95 percentthat between 58 to 62 percent of the people would express the same approval as the sample.The criterion of excellence in a sample is representative, not size.Sampling is vital to the validity of an opinion poll. In practice, however, sampling can be acomplicated procedure involving a great deal of estimation and guesswork. The population to besurveyed usually cannot be precisely enumerated. Efforts must be made to break down thepopulation into sampling units of approximately equal size. A certain amount of interviewerdiscretion is necessary, and complications arise when a proposed respondent is not at home, hasmoved, or is unwilling to be interviewed. Often only about two-thirds of the intended respondentsare actually interviewed and give valid responses. When mail questionnaires are used, problemsof no response are higher.Great care must be used when fashioning the questionnaire or interview schedule, and testingthe questions before using them in the field is always advisable. Ideally, questions should beshort, clear, direct, and easily comprehended. Apart from such an obvious necessity as trying toavoid bias, many subtle problems arise in framing a question.A word or phrase, for example, may mean different things to different people. In making aquestion simple enough to be understood by everyone, the issue may be so oversimplified that ithas no meaning to the more sophisticated respondent. Sometimes the order in which questionsare asked can affect the response. In addition, the tone or wording of the question may alter themeasured response:A study once found that the percentage of the public in favor of "forbidding" speeches againstdemocracy was 16 points lower than the percentage in favor of "not allowing" such speeches.Other problems can be traced to interviewer effects. Age, sex, class, or racial differencesbetween the respondent and the interviewer can sometimes affect the respondents answer.Once the opinion data have been gathered, the analyst must seek to find meaning in the results,keeping in mind the problems of sampling variability, question-wording biases, and interviewer
  • 4. effects. The results are tabulated and analyzed using various statistical techniques to determinepatterns. Much successful analysis involves comparison: comparing subgroups of the populationas they react to the same question; comparing the results of surveys conducted at different timesto discover opinion trends; and comparing the responses to different questions.Because of comparison-based analysis, the survey often is divided into small subgroups forcomparison-for instance, educated, politically active women with educated, politically active men.Criticisms of Public OpinionCriticisms of public opinion research come from a variety of sources. Many people simply are notconvinced that the opinions of a small sample of the population are a viable representation of theopinions of the whole. On this matter, however, the polling agencies can point to the science ofstatistics and also to decades of experience from which it can be shown, for example, that thesame question asked on two different sample surveys at the same time will almost alwaysgenerate similar results.Other criticisms deal with sample procedures that, for reasons of economy or expediency,sometimes use outdated population data or make compromises with rigorous statisticalrequirements.Even assuming that the basic poll data are valid, analysis of the data may be casual andsuperficial. In some cases, the raw data are simply presented as the publics "opinion" on anissue without deep and careful analysis to probe nuance and possible bias.The subtle influence of variations in question wording on the measured response is often ignored.In the political area, criticism sometimes focuses on the appropriateness of opinion polling, ratherthan on its validity.It is argued that elected officials may be too willing to act on what a poll says their constituentsthink rather than deciding the issues on their merits. Some experts believe that polls mayinfluence voters to favor certain political candidates who seem to be enjoying a notablepopularity at the moment.The information that a certain candidate is far ahead in the polls may discourage people fromvoting at all or encourage them to vote for that candidate and thus may affect the results of theelection.The importance of opinion survey base on valid statics data and careful analysis cannot be overemphasize hence it covers all aspects of our lives right from the time when survey taking was
  • 5. introduces a tools for measuring public perception on all aspect of human endeavor by thefounding fathers and even now.CLICK HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO SECRET SURVEYDownload this document if link is not clickableArticle source = ezinearticles.com/?Online-Survey,-Best-Kept-Secret

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