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 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

  • How Research Can Keep You from Missing the Mark

    By jessicabroome on March 11, 2013 in Research

    I meet a lot of people who tell me their company or organization can’t afford research. I almost always tell them,  “Actually, you can’t afford NOT to do research! What kind of decisions is your organization making on the fly, or based on your instincts alone? Do you ever make a decision after consulting a convenient but inappropriate group, like doing

  • Better Surveys through Coworking

    By jessicabroome on February 25, 2013 in Location Independent, Solopreneur

     When I ventured out to work on my own, I was really excited about working from home. I quickly learned, though, that working alone all the time is not for me. So, over the past year or two, I’ve gone to coworking spaces wherever I am: Paper Street in Detroit; Sandbox Suites in San Francisco; Uber Offices in DC; Office Squared in Burlington, Vermont; HUBBA in Bangkok; and LaunchPad in New Orleans.

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