Social Surveys / Edition 4

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Social Surveys is the methods bible for social scientists using survey methods. It provides an unparalleled guide to the state of knowledge in the field and a key asset in practical survey know-how.

A key method of information gathering in the social sciences, surveys provide a structured or systematic set of data. They explore issues of motivation, belief, social, political and economic practices and habits of life. Survey research seeks to discover what causes some phenomena by looking at variation in variables across cases and identifying characteristics that are systematically linked with it.

In these four volumes, the distinguished author on research methods, David De Vaus has combed through the literature to provide readers with the essential contributions in the field. The collection is divided into 11 sections, making it a comprehensive guide to all social scientists using surveys:

1 Methodological Context of Surveys

This section examines the qualitative-quantitative dichotomy; functionalism; feminism and positivism. The contributors include Alan Bryman on the debate about qualitative and quantitative research; Jennifer Platt on the relation between theory and method in functionalism; Anne Oakley on gender and people's ways of knowing; Christopher Bryant on instrumental positivism in the American Tradition; Marsh on survey epistemology and the adequacy of meaning; Blumer on sociological analysis and the 'variable'.

2 Ethical Context

This section is devoted to general ethical principles in survey research; privacy, confidentiality and consent; and disclosure in releasing tables and microdata sets. The contributors include Hartley on sampling and the threat to privacy; the Panel on Confidentiality and Data Access on private lives and public policies; Willenberg and de Waal on statistical disclosure control in practice.

3 Institutional Contexts

This section explores the institutional location of survey research; the development of social survey institutions; research for government and using market research companies for academic research. Among the contributors are Fienberg and Tanur on a historical perspective on the institutional bases for survey research; Bulmer on social science research and policy-making in Britain; Wegner on establishing a dialogue and Payne and Harrop on social research and market research.

4 Research Designs

This section examines the role of design and types of design; cross sectional designs; panel designs; comparative designs and official statistics. Included here are Stouffer on study design; Rose on household panel studies; Presser on social change; Duncan and Kalton on issues of design and analysis of surveys across time; Cantor on substantive implications of longitudinal design features; Mitchell on survey materials collected in the developing countries; the United States General Accounting Office on generating new information; and Bulmer on why sociologists do not make more use of official statistics.

5 Collecting Survey Data

This section provides a critical overview of face-to-face interviews, telephone surveys, sampling, mail surveys, internet surveys, e-mail surveys, mixed mode surveying and data-sharing and secondary analysis. The contributors include Cannell and Miller on researching interviewing techniques; Beatty on understanding the standardized//non-standardized interviewing controversy; Groves on theories and methods of telephone surveys; Nicholls on computer-assisted telephone interviewing; Collins on sampling in telephone surveys; Dillman on the design and administration of mail surveys; Jenkins and Dillman on self-administered questionnaire design; Couper on web surveys; the National Council on Public Polls on Internet polls; Mac Elroy on measuring response rates in online surveys; Sheehan and Hoy on using e-mail surveys; Cho and La Rose on privacy issues in Internet survey work; Dillman on mixed mode approaches; and Kiecolt and Nathan on secondary analysis of survey data.

6 Sampling

This section explores the history and types of sampling. The contributions include Sudman and Blair on sampling in the Twenty-First Century; Hansen on the development of survey sampling; Rothman and Mitchell on creativity and statistics; and Taylor on comparative methods of public opinion research.

7 Survey Error

This section considers the nature and sources of survey error and includes contributions from Deming on survey errors and Groves on research on survey data quality

8 Measurement Error

The section examines issues of reliability, validity, social desirability, acquiescence; social distance, gender, design based error, processing effects and reducing measurement error. The contributors are Schrieber on the reliability of 'invariant' characteristics reported in surveys; Campbell and Fiske on convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix; Phillips and Clancy on some effects of 'social desirability' in survey work; Grove and Geerken on response bias; Mc Clendon on acquiescence and response order effects in interview surveys; Feldman and Hyman on interviewer effects; Northrup on gender of interviewer effects; de Leeuw and Hox on the effect of computer-assisted interviewing on data quality; Kalton and Schuman on the effect of the question on survey responses; Dex on the reliability of recall data; Jowell on the character of comparative research; Miles and Irvine on the faults of official statistics; Montgomery and Crittenden on improving coding reliability for open ended questions; Foddy on the in-depth testing of survey questions; and De Maio on improving survey quality through pretesting.

9 Coverage Error

This section investigates the extent to which surveys can access the required population. It examines coverage by telephone surveys, with quota samples and for rare populations. It includes contributions from the subcommittee of survey coverage on coverage errors occuring before sample selection; Link and Oldendick on call screening; O'Rourke and Blair on random respondent selection in telephone surveys; Marsh and Scarbrough on quota sampling; and Sudman and Kalton on sampling special populations.

10 Sampling Error

This section examines sample size and sample type. It includes contributions from Austin on sample size and Sudman on probability sampling with quotas.

11 Non Response Error

This section is devoted to questions of bias, mode effects and theories of non response. Contributors include van der Zouwen and de Leeuw on survey non response, measurement error and data quality; Goyder on socio-demographic determinants of response; Hawkins on the estimation of non response bias; Hox and de Leeuw on non response in mail, telephone and face-to-face surveys; Sharp and Frankel on respondent burden; Bogen on the effect of questionnaire length; Church on the effect of incentives on mail survey response rates; and Singer on informed consent and survey reponse; Snijkers, Hox et al on interviewers tactics for fighting survey non-response; Groves and Lyberg on non response issues in telephone surveys; Laurie, Smith et al on strategies for reducing non response in longitudinal panel surveys; Hertel on minimizing error variance; and Fuller on weighting to adjust non survey response.

The collection will be of interest to students throughout the social sciences, and practitioners in sociology, political science, cultural studies, business studies and social research methods.

About the Editor

David De Vaus is Associate Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He is the author of Surveys in Social Research and Research Design in Social Research. He is an international authority in the field of social research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761973386
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Series: SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods Series
  • Edition description: Four-Volume Set
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 1610
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 5.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David De Vaus is Associate Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He is the author of Surveys in Social Research and Research Design in Social Research. He is an international authority in the field of social research.

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Table of Contents

The Debate about Quantitative and Qualitative Research - A Bryman
A Question of Method or Epistemology?
Functionalism and the Survey - J Platt
The Relation of Theory and Method
Gender, Methodology, and People's Ways of Knowing - A Oakley
Some Problems with Feminism and the Paradigm Debate in Social Science
Instrumental Positivism in American Sociology - C G A Bryant
Problems with Survey - C Marsh
Method or Epistemology?
Sociological Analysis and the "Variable" - H Blumer
Adequacy at the Level of Meaning - C Marsh
The Belmont Report - National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research
Ethical Principles for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research
Sampling Strategies and the Threat to Privacy - S H Hartley
Private Lives and Public Policies - Panel on Confidentiality and Data Access
Confidentiality and Accessibility of Government Services
Statistical Disclosure Control in Practice - L C R J Willenborg and A G de Waal
A Historical Perspective on the Institutional Bases for Survey Research in the United States - S E Fienberg and J M Tanur
Social Science Research and Policy-making in Britain - M Bulmer
Establishing a Dialogue - G C Wegner
The Research Relationship: Practice and Politics in Social Policy Research
Social Research and Market Research - G Payne
A Critique of a Policy
Social Research and Market Research - M Harrop
A Critique of a Critique
Some Observations on Study Design - S A Stouffer
Cross Sectional Designs - D A De Vaus
Household Panel Studies - D Rose
An Overview
Studying Social Change with Survey Data Examples from Louis Harris Surveys - S Presser
Issues of Design and Analysis of Surveys Across Time - G J Duncan and G Kalton
Substantive Implications of Longitudinal Design Features - D Cantor
The National Crime Survey as a Case Study
Survey Materials Collected in the Developing Countries - R E Mitchell
Sampling Measurement and Interviewing Obstacles to Intra-national and International Comparisons
Generating New Information - United States General Accounting Office
Why Don't Sociologists Make more Use of Official Statistics? - M Bulmer
Research on Interviewing Techniques - C F Cannell et al.
Understanding the Standardized/Non-standardized Interviewing Controversy - P Beatty
Theories and Methods of Telephone Surveys - R M Groves
Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing - W L Nicholls
A General Introduction
Sampling for UK Telephone Surveys - M Collins
The Design and Administration of Mail Surveys - D A Dillman
Towards a Theory of Self-administered Questionnaire Design - C R Jenkins and D A Dillman
Web Surveys - M P Couper
A Review of Issues and Approaches
Polling Review Board Statement about Internet Polls - National Council on Public Polls (NCPP)
Measuring Response Rates in Online Surveys - B Mac Elroy
Using E-Mail to Survey Internet Users in the United States - K B Sheehan and M G Hoy
Methodology and Assessment
CASRO Internet Guidelines for Online Recruitment - CASRO
Privacy Issues in Internet Surveys - H Cho and R La Rose
Spam and Research on the Internet - C Colby
Mixed Mode Surveys - D A Dillman
Report of the Committee on National Statistics - Subcommittee on Sharing Research Data
Sharing Research Data
Secondary Analysis of Survey Data - K J Kiecolt and L E Nathan
Sampling in the Twenty-First Century - S Sudman and E Blair
Some History and Reminiscences on Survey Sampling - M H Hansen
Statisticians Can Be Creative Too - J Rothman and D Mitchell
Horses for Courses - H Taylor
How Survey Firms in Different Countries Measure Public Opinion with very Different Methods
On Errors in Surveys - W E Deming
Research on Survey Data Quality - R M Groves
Dirty Data in Britain and the USA - E M Schreiber
The Reliability of "Invariant" Characteristics Reported in Surveys
Convergent and Discriminant Validation by the Multitrait-multimethod Matrix - D T Campbell and D W Fiske
Income Reporting Error in Surveys - J C Moore et al.
Cognitive Issues and Measurement Error
Some Effects of "Social Desirability" - D L Phillips and K J Clancy
Response Bias in Surveys of Mental Health - W R Gove and M R Geerken
An Empirical Investigation
Acquiescence and Recency Response-order Effects in Interview Surveys - M J Mc Clendon
Interviewer Effects on the Quality of Survey Data - J J Feldman et al.
Social Distance and Interviewer Effects - B S Dohrenwend et al.
Gender-of-Interviewer Effects and Level of Public Support for Affirmative Action - D A Northrup
The Impact of the Presence of Others on a Respondent's Answers to Questions - T W Smith
The Effect of Computer-Assisted Interviewing on Data Quality - E D de Leeuw
A Review
Effects of Interview Mode on Measuring Depression in Younger Adults - W S Aquilino
The Relationship between Mode of Administration and Quality of Data in Survey Research - J van der Zouwen and E D de Leeuw
The Effect of the Question on Survey Responses - G Kalton and H Schuman
A Review
The Reliability of Recall Data - S Dex
A Literature Review
How Comparative Is Comparative Research? - R Jowell
Problems of Functional Equivalence of Measurements in Multinational Surveys - D F Alwin et al.
The Critique of Official Statistics - I Miles and J Irvine
Improving Coding Reliability for Open-Ended Questions - A C Montgomery and K S Crittenden
The In-Depth Testing of Survey Questions - W Foddy
A Critical Appraisal of Methods
Improving Survey Quality Through Pretesting - T J De Maio
Coverage Errors Occurring Before Sample Selection - Subcommittee on Survey Coverage
Call Screening - M W Link and R W Oldendick
Is it Really a Problem for Survey Research?
Improving Random Respondent Selection in Telephone Surveys - D O'Rourke and J Blair
Testing Nine Hypotheses about Quota Sampling - C Marsh and E Scarbrough
New Developments in the Sampling of Special Populations - S Sudman and G Kalton
Sample Size - H W Austin
How Much Is Enough?
Probability Sampling with Quotas - S Sudman
Survey Nonresponse, Measurement Error, and Data Quality - J van der Zouwen and E D de Leeuw
An Introduction
Socio-demographic Determinants of Response - J Goyder
The Hidden 25 Percent - T W Smith
An Analysis of Nonresponse on the 1980 General Social Survey
Estimation of Nonresponse Bias - D F Hawkins
International Response Trends - W de Heer
Results of an International Survey
Trends in Nonresponse Rates - T W Smith
A Comparison of Nonresponse in Mail, Telephone, and Face-to-Face Surveys - J J Hox and E D de Leeuw
Applying Multilevel Modeling to Meta-Analysis
Understanding the Decision to Participate in a Survey - R Groves et al.
The Decline in Survey Response-A Social Values Interpretation - J Goyder and J M Leiper
Leverage-saliency Theory of Survey Participation - R M Groves et al.
Description and Illustration
Respondent Burden - L M Sharp and J Frankel
A Test of Some Common Assumptions
The Effect of Questionnaire Length on Response Rates - K Bogen
A Review of the Literature
Prenotification and Mail Survey Response Rates - B B Schlegelmilch and A Diamantopoulos
A Quantitative Integration of the Literature
Estimating the Effect of Incentives on Mail Survey Response Rates - A H Church
A Meta-Analysis
Informed Consent and Survey Response - E Singer
A Summary of the Empirical Literature
Factors Affecting Response Rates to Mailed Questionnaires - T A Heberlein and R Baumgartner
A Quantitative Analysis of the Published Literature
Interviewers' Tactics for Fighting Survey Nonresponse - G Snijkers et al.
An Overview of Nonresponse Issues in Telephone Survey - R M Groves and L E Lyberg
Strategies for Reducing Nonresponse in a Longitudinal Panel Survey - H Laurie et al.
Nonresponse in Sociological Surveys - W W Daniel
A Review of some Methods for Handling the Problem
Interpreting the Effects of Missing Data in Survey Research - J D Hutcheson and J E Prather
Reducing Missing Data in Surveys - E D de Leeuw
An Overview of Methods
Minimizing Error Variance Introduced by Missing Data Routines in Survey Analysis - B Hertel
Weighting to Adjust for Survey Nonresponse - C H Fuller
When to Weight - L Mandell
Determining Nonresponse Bias in Survey Data
A Comparison of Some Weighting Adjustment Methods for Panel Nonresponse - L Rizzo et al.

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