A surfeit of surveys
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Most of us ‘switch off’ when we come across the results of yet another survey or study, according to researchers at the University of Scunthorpe.
Seven out of ten of us (76%) merely pass on to the next item in the newspaper or magazine we are reading once we realise that an article hinges on survey results.
The research report found, however, that a few of us (11%), read on to the end of the article in the hope of finding out something we didn’t already know, or at least had a strong hunch about. Of that 11%, almost all (98.3%) said they were invariably disappointed.
Justin Case, Professor of the Bleeding Obvious at Scunthorpe and author of the research report, said that, while the results would ring alarm bells for public relations and marketing companies, the study had revealed an arguably more sinister trend.
“It appears than an increasing number of people interviewed in these surveys have become so wearied by them that just invent their responses, making them up on the spur of the moment,” said Prof. Case.
“However, some surveys can be very useful. For example we recently published the results of a survey which found that, on average, one-in-four care home owners make up 25% of care providers in the sector. The stark logic of this is worryingly self-evident and confirms our concerns about the current flood of fatuous statistics – government and policy-makers cannot afford to ignore it.”
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