Janet Richman: Surveys easy to skew | TheUnion.com

Janet Richman: Surveys easy to skew

When I was in college I took a class on social statistics. We were to go out and get information on a particular issue. The very first day I realized how skewed the results were going to be. The only people home in the middle of the day were young mothers with children, the elderly or the unemployed.

The next time the class met, others said the same thing, this was not going to be a representative sample of the community at large because we were only asking certain people.

There are approximately 100,000 people in Nevada County and if my calculations are correct, 500 is one half of 1% of that population. This is certainly not enough to get a true picture of the feelings of most people, not to mention — we do not know how it was determined who was to be questioned.

I was not asked, nor was anyone I know, so possibly the respondents were only from a certain demographic, such as was my experience in college.

To get a true picture of how the community feels, I would recommend that 10,000 questionnaires be sent out randomly and then let us see the results.

Janet Richman

Grass Valley

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