Soledad Prilaman, Stanford University
This course is an introduction to the design and analysis of social and political surveys. It is intended both for students who plan to design and collect their own surveys, and for those who need to understand and use data from existing large-scale surveys. On today, surveys data play a very important role in modern democracies, the accuracy of surveys (for instance elections surveys) is sometimes contested. Is this very important for social scientists, journalists, policy experts, to know more about the “black box” of the making of a good survey, its power but also its limits. The topics covered in the course aim at offering a complete panorama of the most important and up-to-date methodological issues of surveys, in a world where online interview tends to dominate the survey market.
The different topics of the course include basic ideas of populations, survey estimation and inference; sampling techniques and sampling errors; methods of data collection; survey interviewing (design and evaluation of survey questions, drafting questionnaires); mode of administration of the surveys; an introduction to data analysis of surveys (preparing/cleaning the data for data analysis, weighting, and basic data analysis). The course includes computer classes, using the statistical computer package Stata. Some basic knowledge of basic descriptive and inferential statistics would be helpful even if non-obligatory. The course is introductory/intermediate.
Basic knowledge in research methods and introductory statistics.