Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method Hardcover – Dec 6 1999
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"I would recommend this book to anyone involved in the design of postal surveys. The relevant chapters give useful guidance to improve the quality of the questions and the layout of self-completion questionnaires. In addition, the clear organisation of the sections in the book makes it ideal for finding clear well-written advice for specific queries." (Survey Methods Newsletter, Vol 20/2, 2000)
From the Back Cover
For nearly two decades, Don Dillman's Mail and Telephone Surveys and the Total Design Method it outlined has aided students and professionals in effectively planning and conducting surveys. But much has changed since the TDM was developed in 1978. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Second Edition, thoroughly revised and updated by the author from his classic text, addresses these changes and introduces a new paradigm that responds to the recent developments that affect the conduct and success of surveys.
In this new edition, Dillman introduces a new paradigm called "Tailored Design," which expands TDM to account for-and take advantage of-innovations such as computers, electronic mail, and the World Wide Web; theoretical advancements; mixed-mode considerations; the increasing acceptance of self-administered surveys; our better understanding of specific survey requirements; and an improved base of social science knowledge. As insightful and practical as its classic original, Mail and Internet Surveys, Second Edition is a crucial resource for any researcher seeking to increase response rates and obtain high-quality feedback from mail, electronic, and other self-administered surveys.
Topics covered include:*Writing Questions and Constructing the Questionnaire*Mixed-Mode Surveys*Personal Delivery of Questionnaires*Surveying When Speed Is Critical*Government Surveys of Households and Individuals*Business Surveys*Internet and Interactive Voice Response Systems*Questionnaires That Can Be Scanned and Imaged
Praise for the previous edition . . .
"Required reading for anyone who wants to diversify research procedures."-Contemporary Psychology
"An excellent reference tool and valuable addition to any serious practitioner's library."-Public Relations Journal
"The book is packed with practical suggestions that cover each task in designing andimplementing a survey."-Social ForcesSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
As has been pointed out, Dillman does not present as much theoretical material as he might. But, I don't think that that detracts from the strengths of this book. There are other books out there that cover the cognitive and social psychology behind survey answers, and there are other books that give you guidance on the scientific method, experimental design, sampling, etc. (I would recommend Babbie's Practice of Social Research) And Dillman even has a more hands-on book (How to Conduct Your Own Survey) for non-scientists.
But, the real strength of Dillman's book might be how well he instructs on how to put together a great questionnaire - the design, layout, order, question design and implementation.
I find his take on internet surveys to be controversial and a little out-of-date. But, my concerns might be viewed as those of a skeptic - I'm not yet convinced that internet surveys are viable for all that many situations. And, I think Dillman does a good job of laying out some of the challenges and promises of internet surveys.
Furthermore, this book is lacking any real scientific methodology. I suspect this is a result of the nature of the field, but survey designers should at least try to employ some good experimental design approaches. For example, this book does not help me at all to ensure that the survey actually gives me information that I need. While he does give information on writing interpretable questions, he has no recommendations on how to determine the goals of the survey, how to design questions that will address those goals, how to arrange questions in the survey to ensure good data that addresses those goals, etc. And what about statistical accuracy, and how certain types of questions are easier to measure? Any suggestions on how to evaluate free-response questions? Why isn't there an entire chapter on "How to avoid bias and inaccuracy in responses", instead of having suggestions scattered around the text?
This book has a lot of useful sociological hints on how to increase the response rate from a population. However, this isn't the most important aspect of surveys---it sorely lacks the scientific basis for the design and evaluation of the "experiment" that is the survey. Without this, it doesn't matter how many people respond, because the data will be useless.
For those of you looking for any help on statistics, this is NOT the book for you.
For those of you interested in increasing the validity and reliability of your surveys, this is could be the book for you. It does have an effective treatment of writing questions and effective survey design.
If you wish to become an expert in coverage, sample frames, sampling, etc, look elsewhere. That topic gets just 10 pages.
No book can do it all of course but I would have left out some of the "fluff" chapters Dillman included for some discussion of the more technical side of the statistics of analyzing surveys after you have designed them the way he suggests.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a good book, but it doesn't offer much help picking an Internet survey tool, and there are a lot of choose from: perseus.com, raosoft.com, inquisite.com, scantron.com. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2001
More and more social surveys are being carried out online. This book offers a helpful guide to communication scholars on how to design and implement Internet surveys. Read morePublished on April 21 2000 by Rey Rosales
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