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Four points about surveys beyond methodology

Previous posts have covered how surveys by and of law departments should attend to the quality of their methodology. Left out in those posts were any comments about surveys in terms of their larger effects. Here are four considerations beyond methodology.

Surveys may induce respondents to go beyond what they know (See my posts of May 17, 2006 and the US Chamber of Commerce ranking; but then my posts of June 6 and 7, 2006 with methodological attacks on it; and May 27, 2007 about an ADR survey that warped the responses.).

Surveys may push viewers to more extreme positions than they truly hold (See my post of Nov. 21, 2005 on the focusing illusion.).

Surveys may change how respondents think the next time around (See my post of Aug. 26, 2006 on client satisfaction.)

Finally, far outside the scope of methodology is the question whether people act in accordance with their survey responses (See my post of Sept. 17, 2006 about revealed compared to expressed preferences.).

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