Survey Methodology is becoming a more structured field of research, deserving of more and more academic attention. The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology explores both the increasingly scientific endeavour of surveys and their growing complexity, as different data collection modes and information sources are combined. The handbook takes a global approach, with a team of international experts looking at local and national specificities, as well as problems of cross-national, comparative survey research. The chapters are organized into seven major sections, each of which represents a stage in the survey life-cycle: Surveys and Societies Planning a Survey Measurement Sampling Data Collection Preparing Data for Use Assessing and Improving Data Quality The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a landmark and essential tool for any scholar within the social sciences.

Survey Data Quality and Measurement Precision

Duane F. Alwin

Measurement, as we have seen, always has an element of error in it. The most exact description or prediction that a scientist can make is still only approximate. If, as sometimes happens, a perfect correspondence with observation does appear, it must be regarded as accidental … (Kaplan, 1964: 215)


Despite the potential for error, precise measurement is considered the sine qua non of research investigations in all sciences. Without it, empirical knowledge is meager and underdeveloped, regardless of the field of study. One principle of precision has to do with measurement validity, which requires, as classically defined, that one's measures correspond to the construct of interest and that it succeeds in ...

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