What is a focus group?
Focus group sessions are commonly held in research facilities equipped with one-way mirrors and recording equipment. Typically, these sessions are observed by the project’s sponsor.
Is it legal to call people and ask them questions?
Opinion research is very different. Companies in this field are interested only in the preferences, perceptions, and attitudes of the people they contact. They do not sell anything and never ask for money.
If you’d like to receive fewer telemarketing calls, contact the National Do Not Call Registry:
What is sampling error?
As the size of a sample increases, sampling error decreases. The marginal utility of larger samples, however, diminishes rapidly. Consider this: for percentages near 50, sampling error declines from ±9.8 percentage points to ±4.4 percentage points as the sample increases from 100 interviews to 500 interviews (at the 95 percent level of confidence). Yet, as the sample increases from 500 interviews to 1,000 interviews, the relevant error drops much less, from ±4.4 percentage points to ±3.1 percentage points.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, sampling error varies as a function of sample size, not the size of the population from which the sample is drawn. For example, the sampling error for 500 interviews is ±4.4 percentage points when the population in question is adults in Columbus, Ohio; adults in all of Ohio; or, for that matter, adults from Maine to California.
What is Random-Digit Dialing?
How important is statistical significance?
The best tool for distinguishing between statistical significance and practical importance is the experience accumulated by research professionals.
How is market research different from telemarketing?
- Are exempt from the National Do Not Call Registry
- Never, ever involve sales (interviews that do involve sales are telemarketing)
- Are voluntary – a potential respondent can refuse to participate at any time
- Unless otherwise stated, are confidential, which means that a respondent’s name is not linked to the opinions expressed during the interview
If the results of a survey are released to the public, what information must accompany the numbers?
- Who conducted the survey?
- Who paid for the survey?
- When was the survey conducted?
- How was the survey conducted – by telephone, mail, online, or some other way?
- How many people were interviewed and how were they selected?
- Who was interviewed?
What makes a survey “scientific”?
- Respondents are chosen from a defined population according to explicit criteria developed to maximize representativeness and minimize self-selection
- The questions are worded without bias – in a way that does not lead respondents toward a particular answer
Isn’t a survey with more respondents (a larger sample) more accurate than a survey with fewer respondents (a smaller sample)?
How can a survey with only a couple of hundred interviews reveal what millions of people are thinking?
Surveys operate along the same principle: If the respondents who participate are selected at random from a defined population (the equivalent of stirring), a small number of interviews can yield reliable estimates of perceptions or attitudes, even if the defined population is composed of millions.
Think of it this way: If a chef is cooking tomato soup in a five-quart pan and chicken soup in a one-quart pan, she wouldn’t use a larger spoon to taste-test the tomato soup; she’d use the same size spoon for tasting both soups.
Why should I participate in a focus group or survey?
Each year, thousands of studies are conducted – at considerable expense. These expenditures strongly suggests that sponsors of this research truly value the opinions of the people they serve. Though you may be skeptical, consider this: For most companies, it is much more profitable to ask consumers what products or services they are likely to buy, and offer them, than it is to foist on consumers products or services of little interest.