9 Reasons Why I Work in Survey Research

Anyone who has been in the field of survey research knows how difficult it is to explain to friends and family what exactly it is we do.  I have gotten so caught up with this question sometimes that I forget to consider why I do it - which in its own way helps answer the what question.

So here is why I do it:

  1. I like to ask people questions and listen to their responses.
  2. I love learning a little about a lot of different topics.  (In what other field could you be included in publications that range from the topics of vulvodynia to fourth grade alcohol and tobacco use?)
  3. I can directly apply most of what I do and learn each day to the rest of my life.
  4. I can step back and look at the forest (society) or dive in close and examine the bark on a single tree (individual behavior) - depending on how I feel each day.
  5. I get to debate things like:  should this measure have a midpoint?  And no matter which way I argue, I am certain to have about 50% support.
  6. I get to apply science (survey methodology) to the scientific process of my collaborators.
  7. I work on tasks and projects with clear and defined deliverables, providing me with the satisfaction of completion; and I work within the never-ending cycle of the scientific method, always building on previous work.
  8. I get to play with technology.
  9. I work with people who are way smarter than me.