5 Survey Mistakes That Lead To Bias
When people wanted to organize good and effective polls, they actually had to organize surveys about surveys. It was very important to find out what people didn’t like about the surveys, so that they could be made better and more reliable. Some of the things that people reported as bad practice was the fact that pollsters didn’t tell them who sponsored the poll or they tried to sell them something during the poll (New York Times, June 5th 2014). Therefore, to create a survey that people wouldn’t mind taking and which will give you relevant results, here are the elements that you must include.
If you want the people to answer your questions honestly and precisely, you have to make sure that the questions are precisely posed. Avoid long and overly wordy questions and stay clear of the technical expressions. Not only that these kind of questions increase the accuracy and relevancy of your results, but they also ensure that the survey takers will finish the survey.
Clear Rating Scale
The form of survey in which takers rate statements is a very popular one. Usually, this kind of survey has 3 or 5 levels on the scale from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’. Either way, you have to make sure that your scale doesn’t change. In some surveys, you will find that statements begin with the scale from agreement to disagreement and in the later parts the scale shifts and goes from disagreeing to agreeing. This will ruin the consistency and cause many accidentally wrong answers.
From Closed to Open Questions
If you start with an open question and a big blank space for the answer, you will discourage the majority of the survey takers and they will leave it unfinished. Start from the closed yes/no questions and gradually add more space for opinions. Real open questions and the comment section are to be placed in the very end.
Precisely Targeted Survey Takers
It is not enough that people want to take the survey. It is also important to know who those people are. You need to know your target group. The survey should be conducted among the people within this target group. It is not that easy to find enough people that match your criteria about age, gender, location or something entirely different. There are companies, such as ProOpinion, that conduct paid surveys which ensure that the takers belong to your target group and that they answer the entire survey.
Motivate Survey Takers
To get proper results, you need enough people to take the survey. The results that come from a small number of people cannot count as relevant. Therefore, you need to find the way to motivate people to take it. Usually, some sort of discounts, memberships or trial periods are good enough to inspire people to give you a little bit of their time.
These elements are important for any sort of survey that you want to create. It doesn’t matter if you want to conduct an online, telephone, face-to-face or email survey, you need high quality questions, precise target group and motivated survey takers.