Making errors in surveys: An Overview

Duane F. Alwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper introduces the collection of papers in the present issue of Sociological Methods and Research. A framework is developed for considering issues in survey methodology, especially those concerned with “errors in surveys,” and an overview of research in the area is presented. The paper emphasizes both the concern with improving the quality of survey data in their collection and the concern with improving the quality of the inferences made from survey data in their analysis. A range of topics is covered, including discussions of completion rates, sample coverage, locating respondents in longitudinal research, response rates, item nonresponse, weighting to adjust for noncoverage and nonresponse bias, interviewer variability, question structure and sequence, methods of administration, and respondent errors. The papers included in the present collection focus on many of these issues and reflect the contemporary concerns of social scientists with the problems of making errors using survey data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Methods & Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1977

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Making errors in surveys: An Overview'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this