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Survey Interviewing and Ethics. Survey Research and Design Spring 2006 Class #11 (Week 13). Today’s objectives. To answer questions you have To discuss mid-term exams and application exercise #4 To examine data collection through interviews To explore issues of ethics in surveys.

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Survey interviewing and ethics

Survey Interviewing and Ethics

Survey Research and Design

Spring 2006

Class #11 (Week 13)

Today s objectives
Today’s objectives

  • To answer questions you have

  • To discuss mid-term exams and application exercise #4

  • To examine data collection through interviews

  • To explore issues of ethics in surveys

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Mid term exams
Mid-term exams

  • Are bad addresses different than having no address at all?

  • Is it better to select a random sample or to survey the entire population?

  • If you introduce multiple modes, don’t forget about mode effects.

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Crowne marlowe social desirability scale
Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale

Listed below are a number of statements concerning personal attitudes and traits. Read each item and decide whether the statement is True or False as it pertains to you personally. 1. Before voting I thoroughly investigate the qualifications of all the candidates. (T) 2. I never hesitate to go out of my way to help someone in trouble. (T) 3. It is sometimes hard for me to go on with my work, if I am not encouraged. (F) 4. I have never intensely disliked anyone. (T) 5. On occasion I have had doubts about my ability to succeed in life. (F) 6. I sometimes feel resentful when I don't get my way. (F) 7. I am always careful about my manner of dress. (T) 8. My table manners at home are as good as when I eat out in a restaurant. (T) 9. If I could get into a movie without paying and be sure I was not seen, I would probably do it. (F) 10. On a few occasions, I have given up doing something because I thought too little of my ability. (F) 11. I like to gossip at times. (F) 12. There have been times when I felt like rebelling against people in authority even though I knew they were right. (F) 13. No matter who I'm talking to, I'm always a good listener. (T) 14. I can remember "playing sick" to get out of something. (F) 15. There have been occasions when I took advantage of someone. (F)

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16. I'm always willing to admit it when I make a mistake. (T) 17. I always try to practice what I preach. (T) 18. I don't find it particularly difficult to get along with loud-mouthed, obnoxious people. (T) 19. I sometimes try to get even rather than forgive and fdrget. (F) 20. When I don't know something I don't at all mind admitting it. (T) 21. I am always courteous, even to people who are disagreeable. (T) 22. At times I have really insisted on having things my own way. (F) 23. There have been occasions when I felt like smashing things. (F) 24. I would never think of letting someone else be punished for my wrongdoings. (T) 25. I never resent being asked to return a favor. (T) 26. I have never been irked when people expressed ideas very different from my own. (T) 27. I never make a long trip without checking the safety of my car. (T) 28. There have been times when I was quite jealous of the good fortune of others. (F) 29. I have almost never felt the urge to tell someone off. (T) 30. I am sometimes irritated by people who ask favors of me. (F) 31. I have never felt that I was punished without cause. (T) 32. I sometimes think when people have a mistortune they only got what they deserved. (F) 33. I have never deliberately said something that hurt someone's feelings. (T)

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Crowne, D. P. and Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349-354.

Crowne, D. P. and Marlowe, D. (1964). The Approval Motive. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Varied roles of interviewers
Varied roles of interviewers desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Sampling

  • Eliciting cooperation

  • Assisting respondents

  • Asking questions and follow-up probes

  • Record answers

  • Edit answers

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Interviewer bias caused by interviewer effects
Interviewer BIAS caused by interviewer effects desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • on reporting of socially undesirable attributes (social presence);

  • on topics related to observable interviewer traits;

  • and associated with interviewer experience.

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Strategies for reducing interviewer bias
Strategies for reducing interviewer bias desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Speak slowly

  • Provide systematic reinforcement

  • Provide easy direct messages about expectations

  • Seek a commitment

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Interviewer related variance
Interviewer-related VARIANCE desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Two reasons why you would get differences:

    • Interviewers influence the answers of respondents

    • The respondents have truly different attributes

  • How would you test for the first?

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Reducing interviewer related variance
Reducing interviewer-related variance desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Minimize questions that require nonstandard interviewer behavior

  • Require professional, task-oriented interviewer behavior

  • Read questions as they are worded

  • Explain the survey process to the respondents

  • Probe nondirectively

  • Record answers exactly as given

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Criticisms of standardization
Criticisms of standardization desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Flexibility could allow for adjustments to make questions fit respondent

  • Unnatural interaction

  • Inappropriate to prevent interviewer from clarifying a question

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Group project
Group project desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Consider collecting your data using survey interviews.

  • Would you need to change the content?

  • What steps would you take to reduce interviewer related variance and interviewer related bias?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this mode?

  • Is it an option for your survey?

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Misconduct terminology
Misconduct terminology desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Fabrication

  • Falsification

  • Plagiarism

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Ethical issues in survey research
Ethical issues in survey research desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • What is IRB?

  • Why does it exist?

  • Do I need to get approval for my survey?

  • What role does it play in my survey research?

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Ethical obligation to respondents
Ethical obligation to respondents desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Beneficence

  • Justice

  • Respect for persons – informed consent

  • Equity in efforts of persuasion

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Ethical considerations for research
Ethical considerations for research desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • How are participants selected?

  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

  • Have participants given informed consent?

  • Has the researcher maintained privacy and confidentiality when necessary?

  • Has the research taken special precautions with vulnerable populations?

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Ethics and survey research
Ethics and survey research desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Two main ethical issues

    • How we treat our subjects

    • How we conduct our survey (as a scientific research project)

  • Treatment of subjects

    • Ensure informed consent before beginning survey

    • Handle data correctly after surveys are completed

  • Conducting the survey

    • Adopt best practices (everything in this course)

    • Common problems:

      • Interviewer falsification

      • Making bad decisions about data (dropping cases without a good reason)

      • Misreporting or not fully reporting results (response rate, methodology, see Groves, p. 349)

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Treatment of subjects
Treatment of subjects desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Institutional Review Boards

    • As a member of the university community your survey project must (almost always) be reviewed, regardless of who you are surveying

    • If you are using someone else’s survey data for a research project, you must still get IRB approval

  • Informed consent should be

    • Given by a competent person (e.g., children need parents’ approval)

    • Voluntary – remember, coercion is tricky to define

      • Students in a class? $1,000 to participate?

    • Informed – at a minimum sample members should be told:

      • Purpose of study

      • Risks and benefits of participation

      • Anonymity/confidentiality

      • Researcher’s contact information

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Treatment of subjects1
Treatment of subjects desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Deception - this is sometime permissible

    • Can take different forms

      • Purpose of research

      • What is actually going to happen to participant

    • General rule is

      • Only when the project could not be complete without it

      • Does not pose great risks for the participants

    • Debriefing

  • Handling of data

    • Who has access?

    • What happens when the project is complete?

Survey Research and Design (Umbach)

Application exercise 3
Application Exercise #3 desirability independent of psychopathology.

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For next class
For next class… desirability independent of psychopathology.

  • Readings:

    • Groves et al. - Chapter 10 (p. 303-340)

    • *Croninger, R.G and Douglas, K.M. (2005). Missing data and institutional research. In Umbach, P.D., Survey research: emerging issues, New Directions for Institutional Research no. 127, pp 33-49.

    • +De Leeuw, E.D., Hox, J., & Huisman, M. (2003). Prevention and treatment of item nonresponse. Journal of Official Statistics, 19(2): 153-176. (

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