Tag Archives: Survey design

PMean: The perils of shortening a survey

Dear Professor Mean, I’m trying to publish a research study that involves some survey data, but the peer-reviewer is complaining about something I did. There was a scale that I used that had five items, but because the survey was already very long, I used only three of the five items. The peer reviewer seems to think that I arbitrarily chose these three items after looking at the data. How should I respond? Continue reading

PMean: A biased sample of car speeds

Dear Professor Mean, I read a newspaper report about speed limits and how few people obeyed them. A reporter decided to collect some hard data and drove exactly at the speed limit (55 mph in this particular setting). The reporter noticed that nine cars passed his car for every car that he passed, and concluded that most people are breaking the speed limit. I’m wondering if this is really a valid way to collect data. Continue reading

Recommended: Statistics Attitude Survey scale

Dennis Roberts has a webpage with several attitude scales that have been published in the peer-reviewed literature. The fifth one on the list is a Statistics Attitude Scale, first published in 1980. It has questions like “1. Statistics will be useful to me in my profession when I evaluate other people. 2. It takes me a long time to understand a statistical concept.” but Dennis especially highlighted question 18: “The thought of taking another statistics course makes me sick.” Hah! Continue reading