While digital communication has made a lot of things easier—like video calling someone on the other side of the world—it has made collecting public opinion and behavior data more challenging.
Government agencies rely on that data from censuses, public opinion, and behavior surveys to make extensive policy and financial decisions that impact quality of life, such as healthcare measures that curb smoking.
Don Dillman, a Washington State University Regents Professor in sociology and internationally renowned survey methodologist, has dedicated his career to improving the design of surveys to collect that information.
When he started his career in the 1970s, he had to worry about … » More …
WSM Reader Survey Results: So what do you think?
Most of you really like us. Some of you don’t. A very few of you (2 percent) ignore us, but hardly anyone outright hates us. That’s the gist of the reader survey many of you recently participated in. Either way, we’re listening. And the most striking point of the survey was that you do indeed read us.
We haven’t done a reader survey in quite a while, not because we’re not interested, but because they’re expensive. There comes a time, however, when an editor needs something a little more systematic, even more than your informal comments and letters, in gauging his readership. Fortunately, that time … » More …
The survey expert
Don Dillman may be the most influential social scientist in developing the scientific basis for research methodology over the last 25 years. His Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method is a classic of its genre, the first work to provide detailed procedures for conducting surveys by these methods. In the early 1990s, he was senior survey methodologist for the U.S. Bureau of the Census. He also led development of new questionnaire designs and procedures for the 2000 Decennial Census and other government surveys.
Dillman has worked at Washington State University for 33 years. He directed the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at … » More …