Research Wonder: A Case for Respondent Pre-Survey Rituals?

A couple months ago, I listened to a podcast episode called "Sports Superstitions" on a wonderful podcast called Fearless Conversations with Abby Wambach (which, by the way, is a wonderful podcast on a variety of social issues from the perspective of a professional athlete). It brought back memories of long ago (high school) days when I used to pole vault. For a long time I blamed my youth for the rituals that I would perform before and during competition.  How I removed the pole from its cardboard tube, the number of times I rocked back and forth before I started down the runway (three), and even the side of the pit that I used to jump off after I completed a vault (always the left)... 

Seven tips for effective web-based survey testing

Testing a web-based survey is one of the most detested activities to many in the survey research business.  It requires patience, persistence, and tremendous focus. Finding someone who enjoys testing and is good at it is a valuable asset to any survey research team. 

A wonderful resource for many details about testing questionnaires (including a chapter on web-based surveys) is Methods for Testing and Evaluating Survey Questionnaires.

Here are seven tips to better web-based survey testing practices for your next study...

Individual Guiding Principle Series: Principle 3 - Inclusivity

This post is part 3 of an in depth exploration and evolution of our guiding principles

PRINCIPLE 3

INCLUSIVITY

We practice inclusivity in everything we do.  We build rooms and doors, not walls.

The scientific process benefits from inclusion.  We believe that through expanding collaboration we do one of two things:

  1. We get more work done with fewer resources. (We are more efficient.)
  2. The result of our collaborations are greater than they would have been regardless of how much effort we would have put into it on our own.

Inclusivity brings us diversity of background, experience, and perspective.  We are more likely to identify weaknesses in what we do with such diversity -- and that can be a scary experience for many to face.  We see fear of being wrong or being shown a different viewpoint as the cause of many errors made in our industry.

A hockey team made of 16 excellent goalies will never compete effectively with a balanced team of players with a variety of position skills.  It does not matter how good those goalies are at making saves, the team with wingers, centers, defense, coaches and trainers will be able to get more creative and move the puck around the ice and into the net.

An example of this principle in practice is how we apply our domains of science.  Our domains of science is used as a tool to guide the decision to launch any new survey.  Prior to a survey launch, we run through a pre-launch checklist that includes 12 domains to check to ensure a successful survey launch.  Anyone involved in a study has the right (and duty) to raise a flag if they believe that any domain has not received the attention it should.  We do not launch a survey without unanimity on this matter.  To be clear - it does not matter what position you are in or your area of expertise, we are inclusive of all contributors when it comes to this critical step in study execution.  

At SoundRocket we value inclusivity with our employees, in our work processes, and in our collaborations with our customers.  We let individuals determine how they contribute.  In our first principle, we stressed unity, in our second, we rested authority in groups, and here, we set our guideline for how those groups are formed.  In the next guideline, we will lay the foundation for how our inclusive groups function.

 

Guiding Principle Series: Principle 1 - Unity

A few months ago I presented SoundRocket's Guiding Principles on this blog.  I promised these were a guide to practice here at SoundRocket, and that they would be continually evaluated and updated where appropriate.  I also promised that I would dive into each principle in more depth in future posts.  It is time that I do both.  

With this post, I will tackle our first principle - Unity...

Five Ways to Use Previously Collected Survey Data to Improve Quality in a Survey

When you find yourself surveying a population where significant information is known about those who are in the study prior to them completing the survey (such as in a longitudinal survey, a panel, or when the respondents are part of a known group such as a membership organization), such data can be used as part of the survey instrument design.  

While it is tempting to do whenever possible, when using such data, care should be given to how and when it is used...

SoundRocket's Guiding Principles

Everyone has self-assessed at some point or another.  Be it something formal with a Myers & Briggs inventory or a chat with a trusted friend or family member - we are driven to search for who we are.  To some it comes easier than others.  While I have always loved to self-assess, I have generally been shy...