ERIC Number: ED419839
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Words and Their Value to the Survey Researcher.
McCall, Chester H.; Walters, Lauren E.
In May 1972, 2,900 copies of a survey were distributed eliciting opinions about the meaning of some qualifying adjectives and phrases commonly used in "verbal communications." These same adjective phrases are commonly used in survey research. They include phrases such as "a few,""a majority,""nearly all," and other quantifiers. The 1972 survey had a 40% response rate, indicative of interest in the study. This study updates that 1972 study, reporting findings from different groups of subjects. Nine groups (graduate students in several disciplines, including education, undergraduates, and engineers and administrators) ranging in size from 3 to 20 members were surveyed. Results made it clear that individuals within different groups give different interpretations to quantifying phrases, and that differences also exist among groups. It is suggested that there is a need to study item reliability in surveys in more detail if words and phrases, such as the 22 identified in this study, are to be included in response options, narrative instructions in a survey, or reporting on the survey findings. Appendix A is the report from the 1972 survey, and Appendix B contains a copy of the original survey form. (Contains five tables, eight figures, and three references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A