A New Introduction to Survey Methods

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(2), 221–222. Reviews the book, Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement (2nd ed.) by A. N. Oppenheim (1992). Despite its title, this book is not an up-to-date, in-depth exploration of questionnaire design, interviewing, or attitude measurement. Instead, it is best thought of as a basic introduction to survey methods for undergraduates. On the plus side, the book's major selling point is that it is beautifully written and therefore a delight to read. Its style is smooth and flowing, like the best lectures given by superb teachers. Examples and illustrations of principles are vivid, entertaining, and effective. The discussion is well-balanced, addressing the advantages and disadvantages of various methods rather than dogmatically advocating a favored subset of approaches On the negative side, the text is often remarkably out of date. Most experts in survey research are likely to find little that Oppenheim says to be incorrect or misleading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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