Opinions about political candidates or issues Corporate images These sample goals represent general areas.
Opinions about political candidates or issues Corporate images These sample goals represent general areas. The more specific you can make your goals, the easier it will be to get usable answers. Selecting Your Sample There are two main components in determining whom you will interview.
The first is deciding what kind of people to interview.
Researchers often call this group the target population. If you conduct an employee attitude survey or an association membership survey, the population is obvious.
If you are trying to determine the likely success of a product, the target population may be less obvious. Correctly determining the target population is critical.
If you do not interview the right kinds of people, you will not successfully meet your goals. The next thing to decide is how many people you need to interview.
Statisticians know that a small, representative sample will reflect the group from which it is drawn. The larger the sample, the more precisely it reflects the target group.
However, the rate of improvement in the precision decreases as your sample size increases. For example, to increase a sample from to 1, only doubles the precision. You must make a decision about your sample size based on factors such as: The Survey System and this Web site includes a sample size calculator that can help you decide on the sample size jump to the calculator page for a general discussion of sample size considerations.
Avoiding a Biased Sample A biased sample will produce biased results. Totally excluding all bias is almost impossible; however, if you recognize bias exists you can intuitively discount some of the answers.
The following list shows some examples of biased samples. The consequences of a source of bias depend on the nature of the survey. For example, a survey for a product aimed at retirees will not be as biased by daytime interviews as will a general public opinion survey.
A survey about Internet products can safely ignore people who do not use the Internet. Quotas A Quota is a sample size for a sub-group. It is sometimes useful to establish quotas to ensure that your sample accurately reflects relevant sub-groups in your target population.
For example, men and women have somewhat different opinions in many areas. If you are interviewing users of a particular type of product, you probably want to ensure that users of the different current brands are represented in proportions that approximate the current market share.
Alternatively, you may want to ensure that you have enough users of each brand to be able to analyze the users of each brand as a separate group.
Once you have decided on your sample you must decide on your method of data collection. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Personal Interviews An interview is called personal when the Interviewer asks the questions face-to-face with the Interviewee.
Personal interviews can take place in the home, at a shopping mall, on the street, outside a movie theater or polling place, and so on. The ability to find the target population.
For example, you can find people who have seen a film much more easily outside a theater in which it is playing than by calling phone numbers at random.
Longer interviews are sometimes tolerated. Particularly with in-home interviews that have been arranged in advance.
People may be willing to talk longer face-to-face than to someone on the phone. Disadvantages Personal interviews usually cost more per interview than other methods.
This is particularly true of in-home interviews, where travel time is a major factor. Each mall has its own characteristics.
It draws its clientele from a specific geographic area surrounding it, and its shop profile also influences the type of client. These characteristics may differ from the target population and create a non-representative sample. Advantages People can usually be contacted faster over the telephone than with other methods.
If the Interviewers are using CATI computer-assisted telephone interviewingthe results can be available minutes after completing the last interview.When year-old Erika Langhart—talented, beautiful, bound for law school—died on Thanksgiving Day , she became one of thousands of suspected victims of the birth-control device NuvaRing.
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