Creating Surveys for Animal Advocacy Causes
When creating a survey it is extremely important to choose questions wisely. To that end, Faunalytics and ACE have worked with questions from five animal advocacy groups to compose a list of questions bearing on commonly sought information. We have grouped them into categories, selected the most robust question formats, and spent considerable time altering question structures to be most useful. We hope that by sharing these questions, we can help individuals and organizations design surveys with more confidence and less effort.
If you do use these questions on your own surveys, please let us know that our work has been helpful to you. As some of these concepts may be confusing to those new to running studies, we also encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about implementation.
What to Consider
There are many aspects of survey design that can affect the validity and reliability of results. Ideally, organizations conducting studies and surveys should work with experts throughout the design and analysis processes to ensure the most accurate results possible. Faunalytics and Statistics Without Borders are two organizations that can help animal-focused individuals and groups get connected with experts in study design and statistical analysis. If, however, working with an expert is not a possibility, individuals and organizations can still improve their results by conducting their surveys thoughtfully.
When creating a survey it is extremely important to choose questions wisely. To that end, Faunalytics and ACE have worked with other animal advocacy groups to compose a list of relevant questions. We have grouped the questions into categories, selected the most robust question formats, and spent considerable time altering question structures to be most useful. We hope that by sharing this question bank, we can help individuals and organizations design surveys with more confidence and less effort.
There are many different ways to measure diet. We cover a few of the self-report options—food frequency questionnaires and 24-hour recalls.
Social Desirability Bias
Social desirability bias is a tendency for responses to reflect what might be desired instead of truth, and it can affect even carefully designed studies. Well-designed studies take steps to lower the probability that this will occur, but sometimes it is not possible to eliminate all possibilities of such bias. To help deal with this problem, we provide a scale to measure the extent to which your survey questions are influenced by social desirability bias.
The term sample size refers to the number of participants in a study, or other units of observation. Sample size is important because it affects how confident we can be that the results of a study tell us something about reality. There are a number of free online tools you can use to calculate sample size.
The documents for the Survey Guidelines project were developed primarily by Jon Bockman and Allison Smith of Animal Charity Evaluators and Kathryn Asher, who worked at Faunalytics at the time these guidelines were developed. We’d like to thank Nick Cooney, Chris Monteiro, Che Green, Harish Sethu, Alex Felsinger, Michael Webermann, and the volunteers at Statistics Without Borders for providing feedback on draft versions of this project.