UFOs and Poor Survey Design

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A recent article from US News featured a survey from National Geographic that asked Americans if they believe the US government withholds information about UFOs. Being interested in the prospect of extraterrestrial life, I was pleasantly surprised to find that 80 percent of Americans agree with me - that the government is covering it up. However, after looking more closely at the survey itself, i found that this 80 percent does not reflect the broader US population. Only 1,100 Americans were sampled!! This is not a large enough sample size to make generalizations about whether Americans believe in this controversial subject. The catchy headline of this article draws readers in, but the small sample size invalidates the survey.

Including more people from a broader demographic would help validate the results of this survey. Additionally, it would be helpful to include some qualitative results such as interviews or focus group summaries. Simply including survey data is not sufficient in this situation.

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This page contains a single entry by anken020 published on December 2, 2012 4:41 PM.

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