In Journalism 3251 class, we have often discussed reliability versus validity. A study could be extremely valid (evaluating and answering what it means to answer), but have little reliability (similar results with promising insights time after time. Consistency.) An interesting question that arises out of this is, when Americans look at the research world around them on a consistent basis, do they deem the studies to be reliable?
This question was posed by market researcher Greg Deinzer in his article "Is Market Research Reliable". Throughout the article, Deinzer notes a study conducted by Morpace in which 1,019 Americans were surveyed on their media perceptions. The article notes the findings, saying, "When asked about perception of market research results overall, 24% answered 6 or 7 on a 7-point scale (where 1 means very unreliable and 7 means very reliable) (Deinzer). Additionally, when research is credited to a well known source, such as a scientific journal, perceived reliability rises.
I find these finding a bit shocking. Americans seem to place an uneven amount of trust in market research. This strictly contradicts the recent Gallup poll presented in class, showing that Americans deem the media to be untrustworthy and unreliable. In a sense, there is little reliability in the two survey results, as a high amount of trust in a media source is contradicted by low perceived reliability. I know on a personal level, I am skeptical of all surveys or research studies until I read of the methods conducted and background information. I wonder what specific questions were asked in the Morpace survey to elicit answers from the public. Perhaps the surveys led respondents towards the reliability answer or impacted the net results. Perhaps there was question as to what reliability truly meant within the population. I don't believe that the Morpace study was a valid one simply because there is not enough information about survey methods in order to show the results.