On the limits of reliability in social and commercial surveys

Date of publication: August 1, 1975


There has been ample documentation over the past years of the various sources of error in surveys. This paper reviews some of the more important work presented by academic, government and commercial organisations. These sources of error in commercial work carried out in the U.S. continue to be of sufficient magnitude to seriously mar the value of these studies. A generalised model of the survey process is presented which is helpful in relating the real world to the survey mechanism, the reported values and their relevance to marketing decisions.

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