Surveying – False Results

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This article highlights the fact that it is very easy to get a bum steer from a survey.
Some types of questions are notorious in this regards.
Just try to survey consumers for what they would pay for a product or service!
Any question where those being surveyed are likely to feel their answer may affect how others feel about them – or even how they feel about themselves – is subject to bias.
In political polling, how race affects the accuracy of polling results is a controversial subject with no definitive answer.
Market Researchers have responded to this challenge by using focus groups to try and illuminate what is going on in buyers’ minds. Unfortunately this descends easily into group think, is subjective and very dependent on who is conducting the research. Focus groups have a bad odor amongst many marketers.
It is possible to get usable answers to emotionally charged questions, but to do it you have utilize the emotion, not try to get around it. L. Ron Hubbard’s method using “encoded” questions, wherein the question you ask is not the question you are seeking an answer to – provided a breakthrough in this. It is a sophisticated technique, not for the dabbler, but extremely effective.

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