Surveys and polls are the most commonly used tools in psychosocial and social research, which laypeople frequently encounter when they watch television or read newspapers. This book describes these versatile research tools and in doing so emphasises two goals: help the novice reader grasp the main notions needed to perform a survey or poll; supply useful skills for understanding and critically assessing survey and poll findings reported in mass media. The volume explains the main stages of research processes which use surveys and polls, the difficulties and obstacles which typically hinder this type of research, and the crucial choices which researchers must make in order to further the acquisition of knowledge with such instruments.
Contents: Introduction - 1. Surveys and Polls - 2. The Planning Stage - 3. Sampling - 4. Developing a Questionnaire - 5. Constructing Variables - 6. Criteria for Creating Good Questionnaires - 7. Questionnaire Administration Techniques - 8. Data-Coding and Variable Transformation - 9. Reporting Findings - Appendix: Research Ethics in Psychology - Bibliography - Index
Michele Roccato teaches Psychosocial Research Methodology and The Psychological Dimension of Territory at the University of Turin.