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I Choose A & B! EL227 Ch. 5 & 6

If the answer is "both", the study then comes to opposite conclusions. Ex: Having a dollar in your pocket is good (you can buy something the equivelent of a buck), or, having a dollar in your pocket is bad ( it only means that you have no money). It all trickles down to what the person observing the survey wants to know "good" or "bad" things. There are positive and negative conclusions to every experiment, yes, drinking o.j. good for you, but Dr. Barrick reported that drinking o.j. every morning for breakfast is linked to hair loss. Look no further, both sets of data are correct. "News stories often don't probe deeply enough, so they don't show how the data are amenable not only to one "obvious" reading but also to a second reading.
Ch. 6 The Gertrude Stein System Approach of Contradictory Surveys
"Newspapers often fail to provide readers with the questions, because pollsters do not share them with reporters." Is there a conflict of interest between these two groups? Wording a question tendentiously produces the answer designed by the sponsoring organization. "Teenagers as Targets", interesting survey. I choose this survey because it was different from the others, it was not based on opinions, but of experiences. The poll was conducted to determine how many youths experienced gun violence, commisioned by a group campaigning to prevent firearm injuries. Kids in schools were polled, not the principals of those institutions, should they have been? (they did not experience the violence). The kids polled had to read no less than 12 items about violence, and 8 others referring specifically to guns or other weapons, they were not educated in any other way. The kids were "especially prone to tell the adult surveyors what they wanted to hear", due to that fact alone, I do not feel that the survey should have ben disclosed to the public, imagine the fear instilled in the parents of those children, eager to rip them out of public schools, let alone the anger they have suffered because of gun violence. The survey should have focused on the faculty, not the children. Children are unpredictable and not mature enough to give logical answers or explanations.

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Comments

So true that the targets of surveys are often biased to the particular survey. This entry is similar to mine in that I addressed the same problems; Two sides to everything and polls don't get good results..

Jeremy, you make a good point about the kids in the stories. There's also the added detail that schools train kids to find out "what the teacher wants" because that's the way to get a good grade. I spend quite a bit of energy in my basic composition class, getting students to stop acting as if I take off points who don't get "the right answer" when I am actually asking them to be creative and original, and to surprise me with an idea I've never encountered before, rather than put me to sleep with another "I'll never forget how I felt the day I won/lost the big game/contest" essay.

I'll say that the "Teenagers as Targets" survey was a great idea, but I would agree with you that they might not be mature enough. The faculty could have been a better 'target' for the survey (LAWL), but since they focused on the youth, the results may have been skewed.

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