Vague conciseness of question wording (based on the telephone survey about Crimea)


  • Elena V. V`'YUGOVSKAY



telephone survey, mega poll, telephone interview, POF, VCIOM, Crimea, communications, interviewer, respondent


This text is a response to Dmitry Rogozin’s article titled “On the Accuracy of the Telephone Survey about Crimea: A Posteriori Error Analysis” published in the current issue of the Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes (No 2, 2014). The author investigates the problem of communication between interviewer and respondent in telephone survey. The study is based on the results of the telephone survey regarding the attitudes of Russians towards accession of Crime; the survey was conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation on March 14-16, 2014. The author provides the analysis using randomly selected telephone interviews` audio recordings containing gross errors made by interviwers. Special attention is paid to those episodes of interviews where respondents deviate from the proposed answers trying to explain their stance. The author believes that non-typical answer strategy is not spontaneous; it depends (1) on sharp polemical character of the topic actively discussed by mass media, (2) more on speech standards of interviewer and respondent, and (3) on question wording where clarity and conciseness in wording do not provide clarity and conciseness in answers. The study revealed that defining the political status of Crimea is quite a difficult task which cannot be simply reduced to the choice between common answers “yes”, “no” or “Don`t know”