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Psychology 242
Research in Psychology
Dr. David J. McKirnan

Week 9.
Surveys and Questionnaires

Lecture notes

Uses of surveys:Uses of surveys Sex Partner counts

Core topic areas for survey research:

Survey format issues:

General issues in survey design: Sex survey bias

Lecture notes are here.


Gay smoking image

Suggested background reading: "Surveys".

Focus Modules:
Surveys, Part 1.
Surveys, Part 2.

For lecture & Discussion Group:
Read about whether people lie on sex surveys (click the "hands counting" image above).
Read about the dangers - and biases - in opinion polls on complex topics.  Click the image to the right for the article describing a survey study of smoking among gay & bisexual men (used in lecture).

Discussion group Assignment

Design and administer a survey

Think of a survey topic - people's attitudes toward some topic, knowledge about some issue, or some important behavior(s) - and briefly describe how you would design a survey.

After you sketch it out, administer your survey to a few people to get some actual data and see how your survey 'works'.

1. What general theme or question are you interested in.

2. Operationally define your phenomenon: Are you assessing knowledge, attitudes or beliefs, or actual behaviors (or some combination?

3. What sampling approach will you use?

4. Write some questions.