A Research Study On The United States ' Method Of Survey Research

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Brandon Koch Jean Converse in her work Survey Research in the United States historicizes the method of survey research from the years of 1865-1960. The value and legitimatization of the survey research method stems from the wartime experiences of WWI and WWII. Early wartime research was a small scattered field prior to WWI consisting of a small tight knit group of a few hundred researchers (163). “Most of those who had major responsibilities for wartime opinion research were, at some time or other, working for or advising one another in this small world” (163). Historicizing survey research provides an invaluable insight into government funded survey organizations. A linear pathway from government based practitioners, to quasi-academic…show more content…
The assistance from the survey research method supported government agencies through attaining credible results through a legitimate process.
One may gain insight into how the academic model of survey research was molded through examining the opportunities provided by the government to conduct contract research on various moral and opinion based issues. Converse finds two shining examples of the effects on survey research method as a result of being conducted during wartime. “First it changed technically as social scientists searched for new precision and lent new technical complexity” (241). This precision and technical complexity refers to the method of survey research utilizing more quantifiable information sources attempting to become more objective in the finding of results(252). Enriched from the technical knowledge gained from government “social scientists going back to their universities hop[ing] to
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