The Total Survey Error Approach: A Guide To The New Science Of Survey Research

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-10-26
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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In 1939, George Gallup's American Institute of Public Opinion published a pamphlet optimistically titledThe New Science of Public Opinion Measurement. At the time, though, survey research was in its infancy, and only now, six decades later, can public opinion measurement be appropriately called a science, based in part on the development of the total survey error approach. Herbert F. Weisberg's handbook presents a unified method for conducting good survey research centered on the various types of errors that can occur in surveysfrom measurement and nonresponse error to coverage and sampling error. Each chapter is built on theoretical elements drawn from specific disciplines, such as social psychology and statistics, and follows through with detailed treatments of the specific types of error and their potential solutions. Throughout, Weisberg is attentive to survey constraints, including time and ethical considerations, as well as controversies within the field and the effects of new technology on the survey processfrom Internet surveys to those completed by phone, by mail, and in person. Practitioners and students will find this comprehensive guide particularly useful now that survey research has assumed a primary place in both public and academic circles.

Author Biography

Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
PART I Survey Error Theory
Scientific Survey Research
The Development of a Discipline
Survey Error
The Establishment of a Paradigm
Survey Modes
Responses to Emerging Technologies
PART II Response Accuracy Issues
Measurement Error Due to Interviewers
The Debate over Interviewing Style
Measurement Error Due to Respondents, I
Question Working Problems
Measurement Error Due to Respondent, II
Questionnaire Issues
Nonresponse Error at the Item Level
The Scourge of Missing Data
PART III Respondent Selection Issues
Nonresponse Error at the Unit Level
The Response Rate Challenge
Coverage Error
Sampling Frame Issues
Sampling Error
The Need for Representativeness
PART IV Survey Administration Issues
Postsurvey Error
The Data Editing Stage
Mode Differences
Dealing with Sensitive Topics
Comparability Effects
The Limits of Equivalence
PART V Total Survey Error
Ethics in Surveys
Respecting Respondents' Rights
Survey Errors
Coping with Survey Constraints
Appendix: Meta-analysis 333(4)
Notes 337(8)
References 345(26)
Name Index 371(8)
Subject Index 379

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