Bias in survey questions :
With the loaded question, you basically force people into answering the question in a particular way. You keep them from explaining their own opinions. The loaded question has the potential to lead to survey drop-out and unclear results.
Here is an example :
Loaded question : Where do you like to party? Well, what if the respondents don’t like to party? What if they are homebodies? Instead, you could ask it like this: What do you like to do on weekend evenings ?
Once you have selected a representative sample of the population, be sure that the data is gathered without bias. Make sure that the survey questions themselves do not sway people to respond a certain way.
In Madison County, residents were surveyed about a new skateboard park.
Determine whether each survey question may be biased. Explain.
A. Would you like to waste the taxpayers’ money to build a frivolous skateboard park ?
This question is biased. It discourages residents from saying yes to a new skateboard park by implying it is a waste of money.
B. Do you favor a new skateboard park ?
This question is not biased. It does not include an opinion on the skateboard park.
C. Studies have shown that having a safe place to go keeps kids out of trouble. Would you like to invest taxpayers’ money to build a skateboard park ?
This question is biased. It leads people to say yes because it mentions having a safe place for kids to go and to stay out of trouble.
Determine whether each question may be biased. Explain.
D. When it comes to pets, do you prefer cats ?
The question is biased since cats are suggested.
E. What is your favorite season?
The question is not biased. It does not lead people to pick a particular season.
F. What is your favorite color ?
The question is not biased. It does not lead people to pick a particular color.
G. When it comes to birds, do you prefer white color ?
The question is biased, since white color birds are suggested.
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