I recently celebrated my 5 year “freelance-i-versary:” 5 years since I left my last job in PR research and went out on my own. I’ve been having a ton of

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I’ve written before about my mobile life, where I spend a few months in a place before moving on.  I’m lucky to have the technology to be able to service my

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Last week I shared the beginning of my research wish list, mostly focusing on types of clients I’d like to have.  I want to continue the list this week with a

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I’ve blogged in the past about recent projects I’ve done, but today I wanted to share an incomplete list of types of clients I’d like to work for. Sometimes just putting these

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I love this scene from Annie Hall, where Annie and Alvin are telling their respective therapists how often they have sex. Alvin: Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week. Annie: Constantly. I’d say three

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So far this year, I’ve worked from half a dozen US cities, as well as Mexico, Thailand, China, and, currently, the Dominican Republic.  As a location-independent researcher, I’m delighted by

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A friend just pointed me to this article on a Washington Post survey of local issues in my hometown of Washington, D.C.  Seems there’s a little hullaballoo about the framing of the survey results—namely,

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Welcome to the 5th and final segment of the response process model: reporting.   Encode –> Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report Imagine a respondent has gone through the first four steps: they know

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Welcome to part 4 of the response process model: mapping.   Encode –> Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report A respondent could understand your question (and remember the answer), but not be able to place their response in

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This is the third post in my series of real life examples of the response process model in action.   Encode –>Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report If respondents know what happened and understand what is being

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This week I’m continuing my series depicting Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski’s response process model in action.   Encode -> Comprehend -> Retrieve -> Map -> Report Last week I wrote about encoding: people can’t answer a question about

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I’m trying to keep this blog as practical and non-academic as possible, but one thing I learned at school that I still apply in every questionnaire I write was the Response Process

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I’m always surprised (and frankly, a little alarmed) when clients don’t want to pre-test a questionnaire. This strikes me as a little bit like launching an ad campaign without testing the content.

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“There is always a story in the data—you just have to find it.” This simple advice from an old boss got me through last week, when I got a desperate

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Here is a sample of topics I’ve done surveys and focus groups on in the past few months: Challenges to immunizing children experienced by health workers in 14 developing countries

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When I teach Survey Design Boot Camp, I like to remind students that open ended questions are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. I

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I meet a lot of people who tell me their company or organization can’t afford research. I almost always tell them,  “Actually, you can’t afford NOT to do research! What kind

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 When I ventured out to work on my own, I was really excited about working from home. I quickly learned, though, that working alone all the time is not for

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After qualitative research, my clients often ask questions like “What were the key take-aways from respondents in this market?” This is what they’re concerned about, and rightfully so; it’s their

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I recently did a week-long juice fast at a wellness center.  Upon arrival, I was handed a questionnaire asking about my eating habits and how often I suffered from each

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Survey design is a linguistically intense undertaking.  Every respondent should get the same meaning from your questions—and it should be the meaning you had in mind when you wrote the

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What I Do and How I Got Here

I’m still looking for the perfect description of what I do. “Research” conjures images of white coats and Bunsen burners, and “survey” often leads people down the path of topography. 

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