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The Challenges of Survey Measurement

The Challenges of Survey Measurement

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The Challenges of Survey Measurement

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  1. The Challenges of Survey Measurement Martin Bulmer Director, ESRC Question Bank

  2. “When you cannot measure… your knowledge is… meager… and… unsatisfactory…” Lord Kelvin Inscription carved on exterior of Social Science Building at the University of Chicago

  3. Ten years’ experience of running the ESRC Question Bank• Place of survey research in the UK research firmament• Priorities within survey research eg sampling, response rates, data analysis• Poor relations ? Eg conceptualisation and measurement, questionnaire design, validation of questionnaire items

  4. “The art of asking questions” “The art of asking questions is not likely ever to be reduced to easy formulas” Stanley L Payne 1951

  5. Much of the “art” consists of practical knowledge • Relatively little codification of practice apart from the “know how” of the practitioner • Reliance on a very small base of texts on the subject in teaching eg A N Oppenheim 1966 - forty years old Converse and Presser: Survey Questions 1986 - more than twenty years • knowledge in this room, given the numbers of the audience who are professional survey researchers, is more considerable than it would be among a wholly academic audience

  6. Today’s conference intending to contribute to the task of improving questionnaire construction by considering the reliability and validity of contemporary questionnaire items in more detail. • Four internationally renowned speakers today have been invited to address this subject from different standpoints

  7. Janet Harkness in the first paper will consider Question Design and Question Translation in Multilingual Survey Research • an issue in cross-national research • but also in within-country research

  8. Patrick Sturgis in the second paper will discuss Field Experiments for assessing question validity • will argue for its superiority over cognitive testing • based upon methodological research carried out in conjunction with IPSOS-MORI

  9. First paper after lunch will be by Edith de Leeuw Question Design and Measurement in Mixed Mode Research • tendency of literature to assume a single mode; mixed mode of increasing importance • what are the implications of adopting a mixed mode approach for questionnaire design ?

  10. Final paper will be by Pam Campanelli What Question Testing Methods Can and Can’t Tell Us • will compare single survey questions v standardised multi-item scales • consider “newer” methods available to test survey questions

  11. Participation • Some questions taken at the end of each paper in the discussion period • Opportunities for informal discussion in coffee break at 11 30 am and the lunch interval • Discussion period at the end of the conference starting at 4 pm. Finish at 4.30 pm to make way for another meeting this evening.

  12. Housekeeping • Julie Gibbs will now tell us about • Fire evacuation procedure • Location of toilets • Where to find coffee and lunch • Where to smoke if you have to smoke • Evaluation form and your pack