Practice Exercises

1. Consider how you could design a split-ballot experiment to determine the effect of phrasing a question or its response choices in different ways. Check recent issues of the local newspaper for a question used in a survey of attitudes about a social policy or political position. Propose a hypothesis about how the wording of the question or its response choices might have influenced the answers people gave, and devise an alternative that differs only in this respect. Distribute these questionnaires to a large class (after your instructor makes the necessary arrangements) to test your hypothesis.

2. I received in my university mailbox some years ago a twopage questionnaire that began with the following cover letter at the top of the first page: Critique the “Faculty Questionnaire” cover letter, and then draft a more persuasive one.

Chapter 8

3. Complete the Interactive Exercise for Chapter 8.

4. Review this article: Bierman, Alex. 2012. “Functional Limitations and Psychological Distress: Marital Status as Moderator.” Society and Mental Health 2(1): 35-52. 

Describe the sampling and measurement methods used and identify both strong and weak points of the survey design. Would a different type of survey design (in-person, phone, mailed, web) have had any advantages? Explain your answer.