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The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Survey Practice Decisions 2

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Member Price: $130.00
Nonmember Price: $175.00

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The Usage of Incentives in Survey Research
About This Course:

In developing this webinar, the instructor has brought to bear his training as a research psychologist throughout his thinking about the prudent use of incentives in surveys research during the past four decades. This includes during his seven years as Nielsen’s chief methodologist while conceptualizing, interpreting, and applying the findings from an extensive series of large national factorial experiments of different aspects of survey incentives. He also has continued to experiment with incentives during his recent years as an independent consultant. The webinar will focus on a framework that survey researchers should use to carefully determine how to choose, deploy, and evaluate the incentives they will use in their surveys. Topics will include: (a) Possible goals that incentives are meant to achieve (e.g., improving response rates, improving data quality, reducing nonresponse bias, reducing total survey costs); (b) Which respondents will be chosen to receive incentives; (c) The types of incentives that can be used (e.g., contingent and/or noncontingent; cash and/or noncash; fixed and/or differential); (d) Ethical considerations in choosing the incentives that will be deployed; (e) Costs implications the chosen incentives will have; and (f) How to evaluate the impact of the chosen incentives.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Decide whether or not to use incentives in a given survey project.
  • What theory suggests about the possible effects of incentives.
  • What are likely to be the most cost-effective incentives in light of the chosen goals of the incentives.
  • Decide whether the uses of incentives are ethical.
  • Determine the “true” cost of incentives.
  • Evaluate the effects of survey incentives.
  • Use the Incentive Template, which is provided as part of the webinar, to structure the myriad explicit decisions that should be made about using incentives in a specific survey research project.

Improving Surveys with Paradata: Making Use of Process Information
About This Course:
This is an introductory course designed to cover the paradata topic in three parts. The first part will cover the role of paradata within the Total Survey Error Framework. For each step in the survey production process, the potential of paradata to estimate or reduce the respective error will be discussed. The second part will showcase individual surveys in which paradata have been used. Research examples will be discussed, including but not limited to the use of paradata to monitor fieldwork activity, guide intervention decisions and perform post-hoc analyses. The course will close with a discussion of challenges and current research problems in the use of paradata.

Learning Objectives:
  • Identify paradata along the production process.
  • Summarize challenges when collecting and using paradata.
  • Develop ideas for the use of paradata in the participants' own surveys.

Survey Coding: Best Practices for Coding Open-Ended Survey Data
Since the early days of survey research, survey organizations have asked open-ended questions. In an open-ended question, respondents answer in their own words rather than by choosing an answer from a pre-determined set of responses. After such open-ended text is collected, many survey organizations assign numerical codes to these answers to facilitate statistical inference.

Many survey organizations continue to use coding procedures that were established long ago. In recent years, researchers have discovered serious problems with some of these procedures. These problems have caused researchers, the media, and members of the public to draw incorrect conclusions about important aspects of public opinion.

Webinar participants will learn about details of a new coding procedure. The presenters developed this procedure for long-term survey project is used by thousands of survey researchers around the world. The new procedure builds on decades of research from multiple scientific disciplines. It uses insights on language, grammar, and semantics to produce systematic procedures for assigning a respondent’s words to reliable numerical codes.

Webinar participants will learn how to apply the new procedure to various types of survey answers. They will learn how to manage roadblocks that they may encounter along the way, how to document that they are not repeating past mistakes, and how to evaluate the reliability of their coding efforts. With these skills in hand, webinar participants will be better able to evaluate the quality of existing open-ended data and empowered to improve the quality of any open-ended data that they or their organizations subsequently produce.

Learning Objectives
  • Why and when open-ended questions can be valuable to survey researchers
  • How sub-optimal coding of open-ended answers can cause problems for researchers and for the consumers of research findingsAn overview of the desirable attributes of an open-ended coding procedure
  • A step-by-step guide to how to do open-ended coding and how to prepare for roadblocks along the way
  • How to evaluate the quality of the coding you have done