Surf, Sun, and … Staying Home?

Beach Chairs_Sample BannerSuitcases stuffed, itinerary full of activities — it’s time for an action-packed summer vacation, right? Well, not exactly. A new summer travel survey finds that almost 75 percent of Americans say resting and relaxing is very or extremely important to them when they go on vacation. The survey also found that 43 percent won’t take a summer vacation at all, citing mostly cost, but also the lack of paid time off and disliking being away from the office.  

Really? Having just returned from the sun and fun of a family week at the beach, these findings sound a little crazy to me. Sure, people might not be able to afford a vacation this summer, but I was surprised that over forty percent of people plan to forgo a summer vacation all together. Hard to believe.

Blog image 7.11.17This got me thinking about surveys and how the answers we expect are not always the results we get. And that’s okay — as long as the survey itself is valid. Simply put, survey validity means you’re asking the right questions to measure what you’re supposed to be measuring. Seems obvious, right? However, it’s easier than you think for bias to sneak into the design of your survey. Even the perception that the survey isn’t valid can make it hard for the public to believe your results. In fact, according to Kanta, a data investment management organization, 75% of Americans believe “most polls you hear about are biased toward a particular point of view,” while only 19 percent think they are unbiased.

So, how to deal with skepticism? Take a dose yourself. Take a look at your survey to make sure that your questions and answers are presented in the most bias-free manner possible.

One of the ways we recommend you avoid bias is to use the ‘Question Sequence’ feature. This feature allows you to decide how questions will be displayed to participants each time the survey is accessed. Questions can be displayed as entered, rotated, or randomized. This is great if you want to give all questions comparable weight, rather than consistently biasing answers to one question based on its presentation following another question.

Another method is the ‘Answer Sequence’ feature. This also allows you to present answers to each participants as entered, in a rotated order, or in a random order. By changing the order in which answers appear, you can avoid biasing participants toward the first answer choice (primacy bias) or later answer choices (recency bias).

Having a clear plan and being conscious about your survey design will make it easy for your participants to provide straightforward, honest answers. Conducting a smooth, issue-free survey means you’ll have extra time on your hands … perhaps even enough to head to the beach! Let SoGoSurvey take the stress out of surveys. Try us for free today.