Community Surveys: Purchasing Confidence and Accuracy
Keywords:Surveys, precision, margin of error, sampling bias, sample size, response rate, survey, community survey.
As decision making among recreation and park practitioners takes on greater levels of sophistication, the community survey has become a more widely accepted tool. This article examines two important aspects related to the probability survey design process. Emphasis is placed on the manager's role in determining sample size. Rate of response is also discussed in relation to sample bias.
General conclusions and recommendations center around the manager's responsibility to systematically determine the relative importance of the problem and associated investment in sample size that will provide acceptable levels of precision and confidence when estimating population parameters. Emphasis is also placed on characterization of nonrespondents. Actual response rate is reported to be of importance, but not a substitute for understanding the unique characteristics of nonrespondents.
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