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Why Bias Is The Biggest Survey Mistake

What is survey bias?

Survey bias includes any error that occurs due to the design of your survey. Bias can occur when you write leading questions. It can occur when you survey the wrong population or one that isn’t equally representative.

Today we pose the question – “Why bias is the biggest survey mistake?”

We’ve put together a list of ways bias is detrimental to your survey and how it can skew your results so your survey is worthless.

Researcher Bias

When the person conducting the survey has an outcome in mind, researcher bias can sneak in.

While we all have our view points, researcher bias is a huge mistake and can affect the way questions are worded and the way results are interpreted.

The purity of your survey is important, so take steps to avoid researcher bias. Involve several people in the writing and review of your survey questions before sending it out.

Bad Sample

A bad sampling of the population is another reason bias is the biggest survey mistake because it doesn’t give you a representative view.

You’ll note in the most recent political polling and surveys that there is always a margin of error. This is to be expected, but you want it to be as small as possible.

From the beginning, focus on your sampling and make sure you survey a broad population for the best results.

Biased Questions

The final way bias enters into surveys causing faulty responses is through leading questions. Be sure your question doesn’t lead respondents to an answer by avoiding biased survey questions.

Asking a double barreled question is another way to introduce bias. Don’t ask two questions in one. Measure one item per question.

To Conclude

Bias is the biggest survey mistake you can make. (tweet this) To avoid it, take time when writing your questions and make sure you send your survey to a representative population.

It is helpful to involve others when creating your survey as they can review it with an open mind.

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Image: Simon Dalmeriv