KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

How Do We Write Survey Questions for Complex Theoretical Concepts?

Erin Ruel

As previously stated, sometimes a concept is simple and unproblematic. Recall that alcohol use was considered a simple concept, and yet, it could involve multiple survey questions to get at various aspects of the concept (see Q34). Some concepts are large and complex involving multiple dimensions. Some concepts are not observable in the empirical world and cannot be articulated easily, such as depression. It is only by asking multiple survey questions for each dimension of the complex concept that we begin to observe these complex concepts. Later, in the analysis stage, we can combine the answers to the series of survey questions into a single-scale variable (sum of several variables) that captures the ...

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