A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

I write semi-regularly about the human side of my life as an independent researcher — both the highs and the lows.

  • The Response Process, Part 5: Reporting

    By jessicabroome on July 1, 2013 in Research Tips

    Welcome to the 5th and final segment of the response process model: reporting.   Encode –> Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report Imagine a respondent has gone through the first four steps: they know about the event in question, understand what is being asked, remember their answer, and know where to put it.  All they have to do is report their answer accurately. But

  • The Response Process, Part 4: Mapping

    By jessicabroome on June 24, 2013 in Research Tips

    Welcome to part 4 of the response process model: mapping.   Encode –> Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report A respondent could understand your question (and remember the answer), but not be able to place their response in any of the categories available to them. My favorite example of mapping difficulties came when I worked administering a survey to drug addicts about their use.  For each drug they

  • The Response Process, Part 3: Retrieval

    By jessicabroome on June 10, 2013 in Research Tips

    This is the third post in my series of real life examples of the response process model in action.   Encode –>Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report If respondents know what happened and understand what is being asked of them, you’re already on the right track. This brings us to stage 3: Retrieval. Respondents have to remember their experience in order to accurately answer a question. Ideally,

  • The Response Process, part 2: Comprehension

    By jessicabroome on May 27, 2013 in Research Tips

    This week I’m continuing my series depicting Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski’s response process model in action.   Encode -> Comprehend -> Retrieve -> Map -> Report Last week I wrote about encoding: people can’t answer a question about an event unless they know that it happened. Once we’re sure that respondents know what they’ve experienced, we need to be sure that they know what the question means. Here

  • The Response Process, part 1: Encoding (or If I Don’t Know, I Can’t Answer)

    By jessicabroome on May 21, 2013 in Research Tips

    I’m trying to keep this blog as practical and non-academic as possible, but one thing I learned at school that I still apply in every questionnaire I write was the Response Process Model, developed by Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski:   Encode –> Comprehend –> Retrieve –> Map –> Report Each of these phases is critical to getting quality data, so today I’m kicking off a 5-part series

  • Test the Water Before you Jump: The Importance of Pre-testing

    I’m always surprised (and frankly, a little alarmed) when clients don’t want to pre-test a questionnaire. This strikes me as a little bit like launching an ad campaign without testing the content. Maybe scarier: you could make all kinds of decisions based on data that came from questions that your respondents didn’t understand or couldn’t answer. Pre-testing can take many forms, but

  • Storytelling with Data

    “There is always a story in the data—you just have to find it.” This simple advice from an old boss got me through last week, when I got a desperate call from a client I hadn’t worked with for awhile.  The problem: “We’re working on this report, but right now it reads like we’re just dropping a ton of numbers

  • Project Roundup

    Here is a sample of topics I’ve done surveys and focus groups on in the past few months: Challenges to immunizing children experienced by health workers in 14 developing countries “Pitjazzlement,” or the customization of one’s underarms Differences between nurses’ and physicians’ views on patient safety in hospitals How women are affected by bad hair days What it’s like to

  • Open Ended Questions: A Cautionary Tale

    When I teach Survey Design Boot Camp, I like to remind students that open ended questions are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. I once had a client who wanted to ask 1,000 Americans: “Where do flowers come from?” She wanted to prove that people didn’t know that the US was a major source

All material copyright 2014-2016 | Jessica Broome Research | Portrait photo by Sarah Hodzic, Blink Photography