Soc 320 Research Opportunity, Fall 2020: The Influence of Survey Features on Data Quality


Term: Fall 2020 (Soc 320, Section 090)
Status: Open
Contact: Please send Tiffany Neman tneman@wisc.edu your application (see details below). It is available for 2 or 3 credits.
Description: Survey data remains one of the most important ways that researchers learn about the behaviors and attitudes of populations. Along with a team of researchers at the UW Survey Center, I am using data and transcripts from the Voices Heard survey to investigate the relationships across characteristics of the survey questions, respondent and interviewer behaviors, and the social and demographic characteristics of both interviewers and respondents. This project will improve understanding of the issues involved in participation in medical research, questionnaire design, interviewing methods, and interviewer training. The research will concentrate on two separate areas: 1) a qualitative analysis identifying behaviors of interviewers and respondents and the interplay between them that produces a survey answer; and 2) a quantitative enumeration of these features of the interaction and their association with characteristics of interviewers, respondents, and survey questions.This coding will inform an examination of whether the behaviors of interviewers and respondents vary for respondents across racial groups and across characteristics of survey questions.
Duties: The undergraduate research assistant will:
(1) Participate in research meetings and learn how collaborative research groups work and organize their research.
(2) Time response latencies (the time it takes a person to answer a question) from survey interviews about medical research conducted with respondents from diverse racial and ethnic groups.
(3) Participate in the generation of research questions to be answered with the available data.
(4) Assist with the management of data including some qualitative and quantitative analysis of data.
(5) Assist with the development and testing of a web survey.
(6) Read articles (as assigned) and learn how to synthesize and contextualize them.
Requirements: Students who apply should have an interest in social science research and how data is collected and analyzed. They should also be interested in research methodology, particularly survey methodology, as well as survey design.
To Apply: Applicants should provide a 1-page description of their academic background, interests, and the skills they currently possess in addition to the skills they wish to develop through this practicum.