Uses of survey and polling data collection: practical and ethical implications #PAPOR #MRX 


Live blogged at #PAPOR in San Francisco. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Are California’s Registered Independents Shy Partisans?, David Kordus, Public Policy Institute of California

  • number of independant voters has doubled in the last twenty years
  • automatic voter registration via the DMV will add new voters
  • independents are not one homogenous group
  • on average, they really are the middle between republicans and democrats, not necessarily more moderate

Exploring the Financial Landscape Facing Veterans in Nevada: Financial Literacy, Decision-making, and Payday Loans, Justin S. Gardner & Christopher Stream, UNLV, Runner-Up Student Paper Competition Winner

  • payday lending only started in the 1990s, more of them in military areas
  • largest security clearance issues were financial, capped interest rate of payday loans
  • 375 respondents, lots of disabled veterans who can’t work
  • use as medical loans is very low, many use it to pay off student loans or other debts, paying for housing also major use
  • most learned about it from tv commercials, or friends and family. If family are encouraging them to do this, something needs to change
  • people who don’t feel prepared for emergencies are more likely to use
  • majority had salary under $50 000, likely to need another loan in the future
  • 20% had used payday, it is cyclical, once you’re in the cycle it’s difficult to break out of it
  • half people could walk there from their home, didn’t need a car

What Constitutes Informed Consent? Understanding Respondents’ Need for Transparency, Nicole Buttermore, Randall Thomas, Frances M. Barlas, & Mansour Fahimi, GfK

  • biggest threat is release of name of participant but should participants be told sponsor of the study?
  • problem is nonresponse and survey bias if people know who the sponsor is
  • 6% thought taking a survey could have a negative impact on their life – worried about data breach, who has access to data, company might be hacked, improper use of data, questions might make me feel uncomfortable
  • 95% think surveys have no or minimal risk to my mental health – about 23% have quit a survey because it made them feel uncomfortable
  • about 20% said a survey has made them feel very uncomfortable – ask abour race, income, too much personal information, can’t give the exact answer they want to, feel political surveys are slanted, surveys are boring, don’t know how to answer the question
  • respondents want to know how personal information will be used and how privacy will be protected
  • want to know how long it will take, the topic, and the points for it
  • about twenty percent want to know company doing the research and company paying for the research

Recent Changes to the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act, Bob Davis, Davis Research

  • this is not legal advice
  • TCPA issue is regarding calls using automated telephone equipment
  • lawyers like to threaten to sue but settle
  • vicarious liability – responsibility of the superior for the acts of their subordinates, i.e., contract work, sponsor of research
  • any phone with a redial button is an autodialer – so only the old phones where you stick your finger in the hole and turn the dial is not an autodialer
  • if you can get permission, then get it
  • regularly scrub your landline system to make sure there are no cell phones in it
  • use a non-predictive dialing system
  • ask that suppliers are TCPA compliant
  • international partners dialing into the US need to follow the rules as well
  • talk with your lawyer ahead of time so you can say you have already talked to a lawyer and they don’t think you are weak
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