Policy Social Science

Technology, Experimentation, and the Quality of Survey Data

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 847-848
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.847

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Promising new research is addressing the vexing problems of survey data quality by using a combination of laptop computers and headphones. New experiments suggest that the creative use of new technology may allow researchers studying sensitive issues to at least partially overcome problems imposed by some respondents' limited literacy and their concerns about privacy. As the best of the new techniques can only ameliorate these problems, a multidisciplinary approach will be useful in improving our ability to validate the quality of survey data.