Designing Surveys

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SAGE, 2014 - Social Science - 424 pages
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Written with the needs and goals of a novice researcher in mind, this fully updated Third Edition of Designing Surveys by Johnny Blair, Ronald F. Czaja, and Edward A. Blair provides an accurate account of how modern surveys are actually designed and conducted. Much more than a “how-to” guide, this up-to-date and accessible book presents the material in a social science context and teaches readers to think through decisions about sample design, questionnaire development, and data collection, rather than simply following prescriptive advice that may not be appropriate to particular practical situations. In addition to providing examples of alternative procedures, Designing Surveys shows how classic principles and recent research guide decision-making—from setting the basic features of the survey design to implementing instrument development, testing, and data collection. The new edition covers new developments in data collection technologies, provides a more comprehensive treatment of questionnaire development and pretesting, and includes completely new chapters on sample design and selection.
 

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I’ve just added a short review of Blair et al (2014) to my Survey Methods Textbooks page.
http://surveyresearch.weebly.com/survey-methods-textbooks.html
Definitely a Which? Best Buy and will be the preferred course text on my site.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a preferred course text at post-graduate level or for in-house training. It’s far superior to anything else on the market and sits nicely between Andres (2012) and Marsden and Wright (2010). Whereas some books tend to be more academic (and sometimes based on limited, if any, serious experience of actually doing surveys) this book is written by people who do surveys for a living, one of them for forty years.
With its combination of accumulated wisdom and narrative skill, it’s easy (and fulfilling) to read, and you can barely see the joins. It has been written by very experienced fellow professionals used to dealing with operational practicalities, spiced with (just enough, but not too much) theory and thankfully few equations (formulae are immediately off-putting for students in sociology and similar areas).
One or two key references are missing from the bibliography and there are no mentions of major British or European surveys which have already addressed some of the methodological issues raised in the book, but these omissions in no way detract from its value.
The book is peppered with URLs, but there is no companion website so you'll have to type them all in yourself. The frequent checklists and detailed advice in the book, plus the dozens of real examples and summary case studies, convinced me that survey research is a discipline in its own right, that the best survey researchers do it well intuitively (not from text-books) and that questionnaire design is an art rather than a science. There's nothing on data analysis as such, but there is no shortage of textbooks and on-line resources for that, including those on this site..
If you are serious about learning or doing survey research, buy your own copy now.
John Hall
http://surveyresearch.weebly.com/
 

Contents

SURVEY PRACTICE
1
SURVEY ERROR
11
PLANNING THE SURVEY THE HIERARCHY OF DECISIONS
20
DATA COLLECTION I SELECTING A METHOD
48
SAMPLING I CONCEPTS OF SAMPLE REPRESENTATION AND SAMPLE QUALITY
83
SAMPLING II POPULATION DEFINITION AND SAMPLING FRAMES
106
SAMPLING III SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLE DESIGN
128
USING MODELS IN SAMPLING
160
COGNITIVE INTERVIEWING WORKSHOP
277
DATA COLLECTION II CONTROLLING ERROR IN DATA COLLECTION
290
AN OVERVIEW OF ORGANIZATION SURVEYS
343
POSTSURVEY STATISTICAL ADJUSTMENTS AND THE METHODOLOGY REPORT
353
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT SURVEY
375
MARYLAND CRIME SURVEY
387
AAPOR CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND PRACTICES REVISED MAY 2010
401
INTERNET RESOURCES FOR SURVEY RESEARCH METHODS
408

QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT I MEASUREMENT ERROR AND QUESTION WRITING
171
QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT II QUESTIONNAIRE STRUCTURE
210
QUESTIONNAIRE EVALUATION WORKSHOP
233
QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT III PRETESTING
252

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About the author (2014)

Johnny Blair is an independent consultant. Previously, he was a principal scientist and senior survey methodologist at Abt Associates Inc., where he directed the Cognitive Testing Laboratory. He has conducted research on sampling rare populations, measurement error in proxy reporting, and cognitive interviewing for pretesting survey instruments. He is a member of the Design and Analysis Committee, which provides statistical advice for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card. He has served on National Research Council panels to assess major government-sponsored surveys. His research publications include many book chapters, and over 50 articles in academic journals and in the Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association Section on Survey Methods. He served two terms on the editorial board of Public Opinion Quarterly and is a frequent peer reviewer for several other research journals. 

 

Ronald Czaja, associate professor (retired) of sociology and anthropology at North Carolina State University, taught courses in both undergraduate and graduate research methodology and medical sociology. His methodological research interests focus on sampling rare populations, response effects in surveys, and the cognitive aspects of questionnaire design. From 1969 to 1990 he was at the Survey Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago, as project coordinator, co-head of sampling, assistant director, and principal investigator.

Edward Blair is the Michael J. Cemo professor of marketing and entrepreneurship and chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. He has been chair of the American Statistical Association Committee on Energy Statistics, which advises the U.S. Energy Information Administration on statistical matters, and previously served on the U.S. Census Bureau Advisory Committee. He has been a National Science Foundation panelist, national conference chair for the American Marketing Association, editorial board member for Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Journal of Business Research, and instructor in sampling and survey methods for the American Marketing Association School of Marketing Research. His research interests include survey sampling and cognitive aspects of survey methodology. 

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