Glossary A-E

Glossary A-E

AAPOR is the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

Analyse (aka Analysis) is the review of information gained from the responses to questionnaires completed for a study or other data and to arrive at conclusions or to make decisions and recommendations on the subject being studied.

Anonymity involves concealing respondents’ identities from interviewers and/or researchers.

Base Line (aka Bench Mark or Pre-wave) is the result of a study conducted to obtain a snapshot or reading of current conditions prior to some change in market conditions or the introduction of some test conditions. The result is then used as a standard for comparison with subsequent studies.

Bias is a general term referring to the inaccuracy in a research study caused by non-sampling errors.

Biased Question
is a question that is phrased or expressed in such a way that it influences the respondent’s opinion. Such questions may provide information that leads a respondent to consider the subject in a specific way. Bias may also be introduced through verbal or facial expressions, body language or by paraphrasing the original question.

Biased Sample is a sample that does not contain units in the same proportion as the population of interest.

Call-back (aka Recall Interview) is a repeat telephone call to a potential respondent to see if they can participate in a survey.

Call Disposition is a tabulation of the outcome of calls made during a computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) survey.

CASRO is the Council of American Survey Research Organisations and it is a trade organisation for those who are actively involved or concerned with marketing and opinion research.

CATI is computer-aided telephone interviewing where the responses are keyed directly into a computer and administration of the interview is managed by a specifically designed programme. The programme checks for invalid responses and will not accept responses outside prescribed limits, hence subsequent editing and keying in of data is avoided.

Chi-square Test is a non-parametric statistical test that compares research data with the expected results from a hypothesis.

Clarifying is the repeating or re-phrasing of an existing question to get a further explanation of an answer provided by a respondent.

Classification Information involves socio-economic and/or demographic information on participants in a market research study.

Classification Questions are questions that aim to collect classification information and they are usually put at the end of a questionnaire.

Cluster Analysis is an analytical technique that arranges research data into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive groups (or clusters) where the contents of each cluster are similar to each other, but different to the other clusters in the analysis.

Code of Conduct (or Ethics) all professional marketing research societies have a code of conduct that details the rights and responsibilities of those involved with marketing and opinion research.

Completion Rate is the proportion of qualified respondents who complete the interview.

Completion Technique is a form of projective technique where participants are asked to complete an incomplete situation.

Complex Questions are questions containing words that are unfamiliar to respondents.

Conclusions are a summary of the research findings.

Confidence Interval is a range of values centred on the sample estimate that is known to contain the true value with a given degree of confidence (usually 95%).

Confidence Level (aka Confidence Coefficient) is a percentage (usually 95%) that reflects the degree of certainty that the true value lies within the confidence interval. It is the minimum probability of not rejecting a true null hypothesis (committing a Type I error) and is equal to one minus the significance level.

Confidentiality refers to the act of not divulging two types of information in a research study. First, confidentiality is maintained when study information such as client name, brand name, purpose of the research, concepts and/or products (except as directed by the study instructions) is only provided to those who have a need to know. Confidentiality also refers to maintaining the privacy of information collected from or about any individual respondent.

Correlation is the existence of a relationship between two variables (which may or may not be a causal relationship – correlation on its own does not infer causality).

Cross-tabulation is a table that shows the frequency and/or percentage of respondents who gave various answers to a question in a survey, and which simultaneously shows these answers for various sub-groups of respondents.

Data are research facts that are based on respondents’ answers to questions.

Database is a centrally held collection of data that allows access and manipulation by one or more users.

Data Collection is the gathering of information (figures, words or responses) that describes some situation from which conclusions can be drawn.

Data Collection Instrument is any device that is used to gather information from respondents, eg questionnaires, video recorders, tape recorders.

Demographic Information is based on the age, gender, life-cycle stage, income and occupation of consumers.

Dichotomous Questions are questions with only two alternatives, eg agree/disagree or yes/no.

Disqualifier is an answer to a question that makes the respondent ineligible to participate in the research project.

Distribution is a frequency or percentage table showing how a set of respondents is divided into various categories, eg percent who bought 1-5 times, 6-10 times, 11+ times.

DK (Don’t Know) is the abbreviation recorded when a respondent lacks the knowledge to provide an answer to a question.

Eligibility Criteria are specified characteristics that potential participants must possess in order to be involved in a particular research project.

Eligible Respondent is a person who meets certain criteria set for a particular study and thus qualifies to be included in the study. Respondents may be qualified on characteristics such as age, income, brand used etc.

ESOMAR is the world association of research professionals. Founded in 1948 as the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research  – ESOMAR unites 4,400 members in 100 countries, both users and providers of opinion and marketing research.

Expected Value in a cross-tabulation is the number of objects one would expect to find after multiplying the probabilities of the row and the column in the table (which may be different to the observed value).

External Validity is the extent to which experimental results can be projected to a population of interest.