Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to get the answers you want from a survey

This isn't about religion or politics, two subjects I tend to avoid. This is about surveys and how they can mislead.
I received this survey in the mail last week. It is from CatholicVote.org and is touted as the "largest survey of Catholics ever conducted on the issue of ObamaCare."

CatholicVote.org promises that the results will "send a strong and clear message to every politician running for election or reelection in the 2014 midterm congressional elections, that the overwhelming majority of Catholic voters demand ObamaCare be repealed."

Judging from the way the questions are framed, I think the message will be clear.

Here are a few examples:

From Section B "ObamaCare's War on Christianity and Morality"

Question #2: Do you think ObamaCare is violating the Constitution's First Amendment protections for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience by forcing pro-life Americans to purchase health coverage that includes abortion inducing drugs?

A) Yes, this is certainly a violation of the Constitution's First Amendment protections.
B) No, this is not a violation of the Constitution
C) Not Sure
D) Other

Question #4: As a state lawmaker in Illinois, Barack Obama voted twice to deny lifesaving medical care to babies born in botched abortions. What is your reaction to this fact?

A) I support President Obama on this.
B) I am horrified and angered by this.
C) Not Sure
D) Other

From Section C "ObamaCare's War on Freedom"

Question #5: Do you think President Obama knew about the crushing cost of ObamaCare for families across America, and was just lying about the cost to get ObamaCare passed into law? Or do you think he shares our shock and dismay at the staggering cost of ObamaCare?

A) I believe President Obama knew about the crushing cost of ObamaCare for families across America, and was just lying about the cost to get ObamaCare passed into law.
B) I think he shares our shock at the staggering cost of ObamaCare and was just unaware of it.
C) Not Sure
D) Other

Question #6: How do you think the mass exodus of doctors from medicine will impact your ability to see a doctor and get the medical treatments you need?

A) A doctor shortage on this scale will certainly drive healthcare costs up dramatically and make it far more difficult for me to see a doctor and get the medical care I need.
B) I don't think we'll see much impact from this doctor shortage.
C) Not Sure
D) Other

Had enough?

I look forward to seeing the results.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I receive these kinds of things now and then, too. They aren't digging for data, but for dollars. I'll bet this "survey" included a plea for donations to help fight the scourge of ObamaCare, didn't it?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Right you are. They want $10 as a processing fee. You can give more if you wish. Credit card or check.

Anonymous said...

CatholicVote.org promises that the results will "send a strong and clear message to every politician running for election or reelection in the 2014 midterm congressional elections, that the overwhelming majority of Catholic voters demand ObamaCare be repealed."

Sounds to me like they already know the outcome of their "Survey". If they used that same power of precognition to play the slots, they could make enough money to buy any politician they want.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Yes, they seem to have a certain goal in mind with this survey.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that catholicvote can't conduct a survey (and that is a hilarious example) but they do good non-survey work for what they believe.

-Jr.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

I'm sure they do good work, but a survey like this does not enhance credibility.

Chuck said...

Doc, even if no donation were requested, these survey outfits always request an email address, and if you respond, then you're stuck with unwanted input in your in-box. Best to use a fake email address if one is required to see the questions. No telling who your address is sold to afterwards.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Chuck, that's a good point. I have an email address that is exclusively for things like this and for purchases. You should see the spam it gets.

Emily Woods said...

"They aren't digging for data, but for dollars." hahahaha Good one!

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Follow the money.

Post a Comment