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.

What Is Measurement Error?

Erin Ruel

Measurement error” is defined as the difference between a participant’s “true” answer to a survey question and the answer they actually give (as opposed to standard deviation or standard error, which are measures of dispersion about the mean of a variable). A difference can happen because the question fails to measure the concept well (random error) or is biased in some way perhaps through using leading language (systematic error). If the survey question doesn’t measure the concept well, we can expect that the error will be random—meaning that some people will underreport and others will overreport their true answer. Since responses are equally likely to be both over- and underreported, the error is assumed, over a large group of ...

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