Guide to using the learning objectives

Learning Objectives for Chapter Eight: Survey Research


Pages 276-285



1.                Discuss2three objectives you must meet to conduct a successful survey design. Then, provide3 examples of how a survey might fail to meet these objectives.

2.                List1five questions researchers should ask before doing survey research.

3.                Generate5 a rationale for the following statement, "good research starts with a good hypothesis."  Describe2 two steps you can take to increase the chances that your questions relate to your hypothesis.

4.                Provide3a rationale for the statement: "If you want to know why people do what they do or think what they think, do not use a survey design."

5.                There are four general categories of reasons why people's self-reports may be inaccurate.

a.     Outline3 each of these categories of reasons.

b.    Produce5 an example of a question that falls into each category.

6.                Examine4each of the following as they relate to the question, "if participants know, will they tell?"

a.     social desirability bias

b.    observing demand characteristics

c.     following response sets.

7.                Explain2 how nonresponse bias can hurt the external validity of survey research.


Pages 285-296


8.                Produce5at least one advantage and one disadvantage of each of the following types of questionnaires:

a.     self-administered questionnaire

b.    investigator-administered questionnaire

c.     psychological tests.

9.                List1 three advantages and three disadvantages of conducting a telephone survey.

10.           Generate5 a sample script (at least 5 questions) for a telephone survey asking about concerns about terrorism and amount of television watched.

11.           For the set of questions you devised in the previous objective (or for any other questionnaire you have devised), use at least three of the seven tips listed on page 290 to propose5 a way to make your survey instrument more valid by making it more like a psychological test.



Pages 297-308



12.           Explain2  what is meant by a fixed-alternative question. 

13.           Assume that you want to ask a question about political party affiliation.  Create5 a question about political party affiliation for each of the following formats:

a.     nominal-dichotomous

b.    Likert-type.

14.           Describe2 what is meant by open-ended question.

a.     Describe2 the main advantages of open-ended questions

b.    Describe2 the main disadvantages of open-ended questions.

15.           Discriminate4 between structured, semistructured, and unstructured interviews.

16.           Generate5 a list of nine mistakes people make when writing interview questions.

a.     Choose1 any four of these mistakes and construct3 an example question that makes each mistake.

b.    Modify3 each question you wrote so that it no longer makes the mistake.

17.           Explain2 why sequencing of questions matters.

a.     List5 five rules for sequencing questions

b.    Compose5 a list of five questions and prioritize6 them (i.e. put them in the order they should be asked) according to the five rules you listed in 17a.


Pages 308-316


18.           Define1random sampling. Explain2 why researchers like to use random sampling.

19.           Suppose that your population is a school of 10,000 students and that you can obtain a random sample of that population. You want to know what percentage of studentsat that school smoke. Use3 Table 8-4 (page 310) to determine how large your sample would need to be if you wanted to be 95% confident that the percentage of people in your sample who claimed to smoke would be within 3% of the percentage of people who would claim to smoke if you surveyed all 10,000students.

20.           Use Table 8-4 to decide6 how large your population would have to be before you would use random sampling rather than surveying the entire population. Using Table 8-4, justify6 your decision.

21.           Contrast4 each of the following sampling methods with random sampling.

a.     proportionate stratified random sampling

b.    convenience sampling

c.     quota sampling

22.           Rank6 the four sampling methods discussed in text (random sampling, proportionate stratified random sampling, convenience sampling, and quota sampling) in terms of their ability to yield a representative sample. Justify6 your rankings.

23.           Discuss2how ethical issues should affect how you should plan and conduct survey research.


Pages 316-327


24.           Explain2 the difference between interval and nominal data.

25.           Imagine that your data consists of participants' answers to the following three questions:

1. Are you male or female?

2. How many hours do you study per week?

3. Do you like college?

Explain2 which of those three questions is/are interval and which is/are nominal.

26.           Explain2 why you should not calculate a mean on either nominal or ordinal data.

27.           Imagine that you asked a sample of 10 people to answer the questions listed in objective 25.  Their responses are listed below.


Hours studied

Like college
































a.     Produce5 a table comparing the mean number of hours men study to the mean number of hours women study.

b.    Compose5 a table that displays the relationship between two predictors--gender and liking of college--on hours studied. 

28.           Using the concepts sample and population, explain2 the difference between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

29.           Describe2two main reasons for using inferential statistics.

30.           Using the table in objective 27, we calculated that the men in the sample claimed to study an average of 20 hours and that the standard error of the mean for men's studying was approximately 2.24. Construct3 a 95%confidence interval for the mean number of hours that men study. Explain2 what this 95% confidence interval means.

31.           Referring to the survey described in objective 25 (results from that survey are displayed in objective 27),

a.     Name1 the statistical test you would use to determine whether women studied more than men. Defend4 your use of that test.

b.    Name1 the statistical test you would use to examine the relationship between gender, liking college, and hours studied. Defend4 your use of that test.

c.     Finally, name1 the test you would use to determine whether women liked college more than men. Defend4 your use of that test.

32.           Explain2 why survey results may be susceptible to Type I errors ("false alarms"). Discuss2 one step you could take to reduce your false alarm risk. 


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