O'Reilly logo

An Introduction to Survey Research by Edward Nelson, Ernest Cowles

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

CHAPTER 3

Total Survey Error

Error is inevitable and occurs in any survey. If you need perfection, don’t bother doing research. What is important is to identify the possible sources of error and then try to minimize these errors.

Herbert Weisberg defines error as the “difference between an obtained value and the true value.”1 Typically we don’t know what the true value is but that doesn’t change our definition of error. When we discussed sampling in the previous chapter, it was the population value. When we focus on measurement, it is the true or actual value of whatever is being measured. Error is the difference between that true value and whatever the obtained or observed value turns out to be. It’s important to keep in mind that error can ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required