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Keeping Surveys Valid, Reliable, and Useful: A Tutorial

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Abstract

This tutorial focuses on how to produce reliable and generalizable data from random-digit-dialing (RDD) landline and cell phone surveys. The article notes that RDD response rates have declined and explores the impact of this pronounced decline. The tutorial addresses order, response mode, and many other biases, sample size, cooperation and response rates, weighting, and hybrid designs-all using examples from risk analysis to illustrate the key points. The article ends with a brief review of the advantages and disadvantages of major Internet and paper surveys tools, and how these can be molded and sometimes combined in repeated, longitudinal, and other designs to answer questions about risk preferences and perceptions.

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