Issues and Controversies

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Issues and Controversies

Before you delve into issues and controversies in survey research, it is important to understand what survey research is. Survey research is a science and a systematic approach to gathering data (information) for the purpose of explaining, describing, and predicting variables and variable relationships for a sample that is representative of a population of interest. A survey is a scientific tool that is commonly used in both quantitative and qualitative research. In a survey, researchers generally assess attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, demographics, and other operationally defined and measurable constructs and variables.

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Describing survey research as systematic implies that researchers use optimal research design, data collection, and data analytic strategies. Although survey research sounds straightforward, ongoing issues and controversies exist. Consider, for instance, whether it is ever possible to completely eradicate interviewer variance or implement standardized interviewing.

For this Discussion, select one major controversy in survey research, and consider the major positions on the issue. Then, determine your current stance regarding the issue and how you would support that position with current literature.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a description of one major controversy in survey research, including major positions on the issue. Then provide your current position regarding the issue. Justify your response with references to the Learning Resources and other peer-reviewed articles.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


  • Course Introduction (located under Course Home)
  • Course Text: Bradburn, N., Sudman, S., & Wansink, B. (2004). Asking questions: The definitive guide to questionnaire design—For market research, political polls, and social and health questionnaires(Revised edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • “Preface and Acknowledgments”
    • Chapter 1, “The Social Context of Question Asking”
    • Chapter 12, “Asking Questions FAQs”
  • Course Text:DeVellis, R. F. (2017). Scale development: Theory and applications (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1, “Overview”
  • Course Text: Groves, R. M., Fowler, F. J. Jr., Couper, M. P., Lepkowski, J. M., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2009). Survey methodology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Survey Methodology”
    • Chapter 12, “FAQs About Survey Methodology”
  • Article: Krosnick, J. (1999). Survey research. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 537–567. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the MEDLINE with Full Text database.

  • Article: Westaby, J. D. (2006). How different survey techniques can impact consultant recommendations: A scientist-practitioner study comparing two popular methods. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 58(4), 195–205. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.

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