Department of Computational Social Science Seminar Abstract

Friday, February 25 - 3:00 p.m.

An Introduction to Survey Methodology

Steve Scott
CSS PhD Student
George Mason University

Social science research often requires the use of surveys to obtain information on attitudes, preferences, or personal information from large numbers of respondents. For all but the smallest of populations, it is impractical or infeasible to perform a complete census of the entire target population, so a subset must be chosen and surveyed instead. The way in which the target population is partitioned, however, can introduce unwanted effects on the data obtained. This presentation provides an introduction to the science of survey methodology, which is focused on methods used to identify and minimize possible sources of error when sampling a population. Topics include inference and error in surveys, target populations, sampling frames, and types of coverage errors, sample design and sampling error, methods of data collection, and applications of survey methodology techniques for large scale social science modeling applications.