Research bias –
and how to avoid it
An excerpt from the book, Who Cares?
Audience research is a fragile thing.
The wording you choose for your questions, the order you ask them in, or even – in the case of a survey – how they’re laid out on the page can have a significant influence on the results you get back.
Some people might respond to your questions in ways that appear contradictory or implausible, and while these results – however puzzling – will often be valid (humans are irrational – get over it), equally they can be distorted by a poorly executed survey or focus group.
There are countless best practices you can learn from to make your research as robust as possible, and if you’re interested in getting good at this, I’d urge you to read around it as much as you can. Meanwhile, here are some points to get you started.