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Tibor,

I agree. The survey was particularly bad.  Going from memory, I also seem
to remember that the next set of questions then was skewed toward a
rapier-only peerage.

I'm always hoping for a lack of purposeful nastiness. What's that law about
malice vs. stupidity (Elasait, I associate it with you for some reason?).
You have to work really HARD to have a semblance of balance in a survey,
and even then, the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Once you're looking
for answers to a certain question, you're already biased. What you call the
survey can bias your audience, etc.

My favorite anecdote about surveys -- surveying cover images for a
magazine. We were trying not to bias our "readers" (aka, people who had
opted in on the web to take our surveys) toward an image based on the
headlines (e.g., "Those are goats, but the headline says carrots, so I
chose the carrot cover"). We tried putting gibberish in the headlines and
included a line in each question that specified that we were using
gibberish. The responses? "Speak English! This is America!" :)

I've learned a lot about surveys since then. :)

Maerwynn

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM, Mark Schuldenfrei <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 12/8/2014 3:39 PM, Maerwynn of Holme wrote:
>
>> As someone who has written test banks and surveys -- that survey was
>> horrible and biased. However, it is nearly impossible to write a survey
>> that is balanced and without bias of some kind.
>>
>
> But this one was pretty serious.
>
> For example - the reports state the question was: "45 - Should SCA
> participants be able to receive a peerage for excellence in non-armored
> combat or other martial activities"?
>
> But the actual question was this:
>
>   "The SCA currently has peerages for excellence in armored combat
>   (Chivalry), arts and sciences (Laurel), and service (Pelican),
>   as well as for activities as royals (Rose, royal peerage). Should
>   SCA participants be able to receive a peerage for excellence
>   in non armored combat or other martial activities (for example,
>   fencing, archery and the like)?
>
>   (If you answer 'Yes', you will be asked additional information
>   about your opinion)"
>
> Note the less-than-passive introductory text, which makes it sound as
> if this is a matter of fairness.
>
> Note the promise of an opportunity to provide additional input if you
> answer "Yes".
>
> The people that clicked yes were all reported as favoring a new
> Peerage, even if they didn't actually do so.
>
>         Tibor
>
>
> --
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-- 
Maerwynn of Holme
Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir
[log in to unmask]
En mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida... -- Neruda

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