November 2012 Archives

Diverse Learning Environment Survey

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The University of Minnesota is participating in a national survey focused on college students. As I am student at UMN I received an email describing the survey, asking me to participate. It is convenient for the university to gain participants by sending out an email to the students via their school email address. The emailed described the survey as the following:

"The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is participating in a national survey about college students. Conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, this survey asks your opinion on many items relevant to examining the impact of college. Every year, students from college and universities across the country are asked to participate in the same survey. It asks about your academic work, your interaction with faculty and peers, your participation in campus activities, your perceptions of the climate on campus, and your use of campus services."

Although the description represents the survey well, as the participant I felt as though they should have mentioned the time allotted to complete it. This survey took up quite a bit of time. It was so long that the participant was able to save and return to finish the survey. I feel that the length of the survey will hurt the response rate that the researchers get for this. The survey offered incentive of having your name added into a drawing and if you win you get $50 to the bookstore. Yet, in order to enter the drawing, at the end of the survey the ask for your contact information, so they are able to contact the participant for future studies. I felt that giving this unknown survey my address, phone number, and name was a little invasive and I felt annoyed that this is the approach the researcher took.

In combination with the long length it is also damaging that the survey is conducted online. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this survey being conducted online. Some advantages are that the survey is inexpensive to conduct and the results are instant. A major disadvantage, especially with the length, is that participants will click out and give up once they get tired of answering questions. This survey took 30-45min. That is a very long time to complete a survey that is conducted online. I feel that this particular survey would be more effective if it had been done in person, as an in-depth interview. Although they would not be able to reach as many people as they did over the internet their answers would be longer and more thought out. Instead of using the scale of strongly agree or disagree, the researcher would be able to discuss certain scenarios or examples. An in-depth interview would be more effective in finding out about diversities on campus. Since the questions were rather straight forward and not sensitive there is no need for the anonymous researcher as more sensitive surveys call for. I also feel that an in person interview is expected to take longer than an online survey, this way the participants can be prepared and expect it.

The structure of the survey was relatively simple going between the participants demographic and/ or their thoughts about diversity. The structure was set up with multiple choice questions and likert scale. As the participant there were many multiple questions that I wanted clarification on but could not ask the researcher so had to work it out on my own. Also, the likert scale did not have a neutral option, so the participant must either agree or disagree with a statement- which I didn't always do. For these reasons as well, I feel that this survey would have been more successful if the questions had been done in person.

Black Friday

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Black Friday has become the most celebrated holiday for shopaholics and bargain hunters alike. As Black Friday approaches Gallup, conducted a survey showing that Black Friday is mainly for a younger crowd.


Gallup poll that was conducted between November 15- 18, 2012. Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 1015 adults living in the United States and District of Columbia. The results of this sample have a 95% confidence that the maximum number of sampling error is +/- 3% points.

This survey was the first time that Gallup has asked Americans if they plan to shop on Black Friday. With that said I am excited for next year when Gallup will be able to compare their results with the year before. When looking into research on Black Friday shoppers, I was more interested in the overall amount of people who plan to participate rather than age, and I feel like next year, Gallup will be able to do research to see if their results have changed, a trend study.

My personal opinion is that the amount of people who go shopping on Black Friday has decreased. Now that Black Friday begins as early as six pm. on Thanksgiving evening, it has taken fun out of both Black Friday and Thanksgiving. I think that opening that early puts a lot of people off of the idea of going shopping. Also, the deals now last about a week. Since I am a bargain shopper, but do not like to participate in the Black Friday madness I appreciate the "not as great" deals prior to Black Fridays deal's.

I also think the new late night hours influences the age of the shoppers. People who are younger tend to like the idea of staying up all night more than adults do. As seen in Gallup's study, the age range of 18 to 29 has 34% going shopping and as the age increases the percentage of shoppers goes down ending with 65+ at only 8%. I expected the percentages to be higher for Black Friday, yet I assume that is due to the fact that they only included adults 18 and older. If the study had been included teen-agers (15 and older) the results would most likely be extremely different.

Gallup's study also included the "important reason" why people participate in Black Friday shopping.
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I found this information really interesting to see the different reasons people participate in Black Friday. I think this sort of information is also useful for advertising to look at in order to attract their customers to their store. This study found that participants not only want the deals, but Black Friday is also an event.

I may never participate in the Black Friday madness, but it is interesting to see who/ why people participate. It will be interesting to see if Gallup does another study on this next year.

Ads, Brands, and the Environment

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I took a survey that was emailed to me from SJMC Research Participation System that focused on a SunChips and a Dasani water (ad not found) commercial.

This survey was interesting on how they placed the questions. First they had the participants watch the ad, then asked questions on how after seeing the ad how do you perceive the company based only on the ad. Then they ask how you see the company in general. They repeated this structure of questions for both ads. I could not help but wonder why the researcher did not ask the questions in a different order. I feel that the survey would have been more beneficial if the structure was asking the participants how they felt of the brand as a whole questions first, then showing the ad and asking how you feel about the brand after seeing the ad. By asking the participants their opinions of the brand as a whole after showing them the ad makes their opinion a little biased. Since the participant was shown the ad, even though they are told not to that ad is still in their mind and they will base their opinions from the ad they just viewed.

After having shown both ads and asked questions about the brands, the survey takes a turn and starts asking questions about the participants views of the environment. By using a Likert Scale, the researcher states a number of opinions about the environment that the participant ha to rate how much they agree or disagree (neutral is an option). I felt that the statements were a little leading since they were stated with a judgmental tone which could influence the participant's response. For example one statement was stated something like this: "I drive even if I can walk and do not care how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the air". This wording of the question made me as the participant feel a little guilty and even if I was promised confidentiality I put strongly disagree. Yet, I should have put neutra, because even as horrible as it is to drive for the environment I am guilty of doing it all the time. The researcher should have worded the questions better in order to make the participant more comfortable with answering them correctly.

This survey's use of the commercials helped keep me as the participant interested. I was excited to give my feedback about the commercials and their brands. The use of video made the survey much more exciting and fun to do.

Sexual Health College Woman- Survey

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The University of Minnesota is conducting research in order to gain insight on how to improve better services for college woman. This survey asked for participants to be woman ages 18-25 in college, it was sent through the UMN email address. The research study stressed the importance that all participants are kept confidential. This confidentiality was stated before questions, in the email, and in a consent form at the beginning. It was clearly really important for the researcher to let the participants know that their confidentiality is important to us.

This survey had many questions that could be sensitive and possibly hard to answer in front of another person. The questions focused on very public subjects to do with a college woman's sexual experiences. Here are a few of the studies.
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This survey was organized really well with each section being a different topic followed by many multiple choice questions concerning that topic. I felt the way the questions were stated was very clear and easy to respond to. In my opinion, out of all of the surveys I have taken this semester this survey was constructed the best. The questions were clearly stated with well balanced responses.

This survey asked very personal questions about the participants political views and sexual history. Each question was also formed with the option to not answer. It was really good that they added the do not answer option. This way if people are not comfortable answering certain questions they are not forced to. This option to not answer certain questions is likely to increase the response rate. If participants are uncomfortable with certain questions they are able to not answer those, yet participate in the rest.

I think that it is important for a survey with this many personal questions be conducted with the online survey method. This method makes the participant feel more comfortable answering questions honestly without having to be embarrassed. By taking the survey online, it gives the sense of a faceless researcher. If this survey had been done in person it is likely that the participants would feel comfortable enough to answer the questions honestly.

Final Pre-election Survey. Vote No, No, and 0.

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Today was a very exciting day, because I was able to vote for the President for the first time!! As the polls are coming to a close, Americans are anxiously awaiting who will be the next President of the United States. As we watch the TV, stalk news sites, and twitter feed we also look to another source to stay up to date on the election. Gallup posted their final pre-election survey for the presidential race.
Only 1% stands between the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for President.

This studied was conducted on November 1-4, 2012, on the Gallup Daily Election Tracking Poll. This study was taken with random sample of 3117 adults living in the United States and the District of Columbia. The study results have a 95% confidence that the maximum margin of error is +/- 2% points.

Gallup has been conducting these pre- election surveys throughout October as well. This is similar to trend studies, since Gallup is showing how the opinions of the general public abut these candidates has changed over time. It is interesting that they mention how the favorability of both president changes after certain events take place, such as Obama being being seen as more favorable on the east after he was present for the ecovery of superstorm Sandy.

With only 1% of the polls putting Obama in the lead it is too close to tell who will be elected at this point in time. Three percent of likely voters are still undecided on who they will be voting for. This survey shows that there will be a very close election in the national popular vote. In Gallup's final poll the results showed that Obama and Romney tied in favorability. This election is too close to call, America will have to wait until the final ballot is in.

No, No, and O.

U.S. Distrust in Media

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This September, Gallup conducted a survey that showed that Americans' distrust in the media has hit a new high. Here are the results shown over time.

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Over the years, it appears that the trust in the media had began to decline, and has hit an all time low for this election year. This survey showed results of a record high of 6 out of 10 with little or no truest in the mass media's ability to report the news accurately and fairly. This year peoples' distrust in the media drastically since it is an election year, which generally brings negativity.

This survey is based on telephone interviews that were conducted on September 6-9. Gallup used a random sample of 1017 adults living in the United States and District of Columbia. Based on the total sample, there is a 95% confidence that the margin of error is +/- 4% points.

It is important to think about all the effects that the current election has on the media's image. It seems that every election year the presidential commercial begin to irritate all viewers as the politicians talk bad about one another. News networks also create this feeling of distrust as the put their politician bias into their stories. I feel that it is really important after election years that the media wins back the publics trust. The media is suppose to tell the truth, so it is important to have that unbiased honests voice for the public to be informed.

It is exciting to read about research that interests me, and I can see myself using this research in my future career. I am interested in working with media so it is very relevant to that career choice that the general public has demonstrated distrust in the media. I think surveys like this one are very relevant and interesting to look at.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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