Shopping mall surveys vs household surveys




mass survey, household survey, survey in shopping and entertainment centers, general totality, representative sample, systematic errors, survey reliability, respondent, interviewer


Modern social relations make it essential to rethink the opportunities and limitations of the household surveys and to see the advantages of surveys conducted in trade and shopping centers. Over the recent years, the installation of fences in the living spaces that prevent from unauthorized entry has become widespread; simultaneously, the communication closeness of the respondents has intensified. This makes it difficult to conduct household surveys; moreover, it may introduce bias in any survey as only those respondents who were available and did not refuse to be interviewed were included in the sample. Based on personal experience of public survey organization, the authors consider that the focus should be made on surveys conducted in trade and shopping centers rather than the household surveys to solve the problem. The shopping mall areas have recently undergone substantial changes — today they look more inviting. The absence of crowding and haste, relaxed and entertaining environment enhance visitors’ external communications, make them open and accessible for the interviewers, therefore, increase the effectiveness of surveys. Two pre-election campaigns conducted in Biysk are cited as an example. The household survey and the shopping mall survey were carried out in September 2006, almost at the same time. The comparison between them suggests that the household survey is much more complicated and it is deprived of any informative advantages of the obtained data. The paper also considers some other supporting data such as respondents’ and interviewers’ remarks, examples of itinerary lists, and results of the observation of respondent availability at home in different time.