New Survey and Research Guidelines
Last year, Faunalytics partnered with Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) to create a set of research guidelines for animal advocates. We cover general research advice, provide a list of recommended survey questions and formats, and discuss how to address social desirability bias, among other things. While some of the guidelines are specific to dietary studies, most have general relevance to animal advocacy research.
Check out the overall guidelines or see each of the main sections below:
Research Advice – A good research study begins with a solid research plan and a thoughtful design. If you’re planning a study or creating a survey, here are some “best practices” such as using control groups and piloting your studies, as well as specifics like survey question order and testing.
Question Bank – Don’t reinvent the wheel! Using standardized survey questions can save you time and produce results that you can compare with other activities. Our recommended questions cover basic demographics, social desirability, and a series of questions about diet and farmed animals.
Food Frequency Questionnaires – One of the most challenging aspects of animal advocacy research is measuring diet change. To help, we’ve put together detailed questionnaires specific for this purpose, designed to help veg*n advocates measure their impact while minimizing self-reporting error and bias.
Social Desirability – Whenever researching potentially sensitive issues, it’s important to consider social desirability bias. This is simply the concept that people will give research answers that are socially acceptable by emphasizing “good” behavior and under-reporting “bad” behavior. We provide some tools to mitigate the bias.
At Faunalytics, we’ve been developing surveys for animal advocacy for more than 15 years. Here are a few past blogs that cover various aspects of the same topic:
- Understanding Survey Results: The results produced by opinion surveys are easily misunderstood and sometimes intentionally misleading. Learn to identify the good, bad, and just plain ugly surveys.
- Understanding Survey Bias: Informed researchers and survey readers should have at least a general understanding of the various forms of survey bias and error.
- Survey Design 101: Whether you’re designing a modest survey or a large multi-year donor tracking study, apply a few basic principles to get valid, actionable results.
Faunalytics Research Director Kathryn Asher recently attended a two-week survey design and analysis course in the Netherlands and came away with lots of great tips for animal advocates. She’s still compiling her notes, but we’re planning a blog series on the topic in the next couple of months.