Nation-wide surveys

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You know those surveys, the ones they say in the news that "surveys report that 90% of Americans blah blah blah" or "45% of British school children blah blah blah", you know those types.

I'd like to do a little short, non-serious survey of my own.

1) Has anyone here ever been asked to fill in such nation-wide surveys?
2) Has anyone here known anyone, a friend, or family member or someone else they know to have taken part in one of these nation-wide surveys?
3) Has anyone ever seen who/what takes these surveys, even if they were not asked to take part?
4) Has anyone ever actually searched out these surveys, and if so, found anything?

My answers, which sparked the questions:

1) No
2) No
3) No
4) Yes, to see if they exist, and no, found nothing.

I have become increasingly wary about false statistics, and how easily they could be fabricated. I'm not liking what I have found so far.
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Amoeba
 
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by Andy
I think I've only taken part in such a survey back in middle school; and it was about smoking, my opinions on it, and how I've been exposed to it... although, that's a few years back.... so the memory is a bit vague. You bring up a very valid point; who has taken these supposed surveys? what is (are) the source(s) for the statistics? ahh, the good ol' media.... the ignorance machine! Even though I have encountered such a survey; it's only been once or twice..

1) Yes
2)Yes
3) I'm not sure about your question; if you're asking if I've seen the organization and its people personally; yes and no... it was administered by the DARE anti-drug program, but I'm not sure if this program is under the authority of the government or how exactly that works...
4)No
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Andy
 
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I had an interesting experience about a year and a half ago. I had been diagnosed as bipolar about 12 years ago and had been on meds for years till I realized that I was really having a spiritual experience and I quit my meds and just after that happened I had a woman come to my house wanting me to do a survey on health care which would involve me filling out information from her questioning me on my personal medical history. I told her I would think about it and thought that was it. Well she came back by to check on me about a week later and again I tried to blow her off and she seemed concerned and left her card. She wanted me to call her and let her know if I would do the survey. I did not want to share my personal medical history with her since I had quit all meds and had a diagnosis of bipolar on my record so I called her and told her I was not comfortable sharing my personal history and didn't want to do the survey.

I found it so weird that she showed up about a month after I decided to quit my meds and not believe my diagnosis. It felt more like big brother was watching.
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FirstWave
 
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by Amoeba
Andy, yeah that's pretty much what I was asking. And I agree, considering all these surveys that have been carried out it's strange for someone to even have only encountered them once or twice.

FirstWave, that was very creepy. O.O Are you still being pestered about it?
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Amoeba
 
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by Squawk
The thing about surveys and statistics - this was something told to me by a maths teacher at school - is that they can so easily be fabricated to say anything.

'90% of Woman would chose this product over a similar brand' sounds great - but then you notice that only 148 women were asked in the survey - thats hardly the whole of woman kind, they probably all worked in the marketing office anyway!
So in fact, only 133 (forgive my maths if thats wrong) women have said they would buy that product over something else - its still 90% - but it really doesn't look so great anymore.

Don't believe anything you read!
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by Amoeba
Yep, great point. :)

It could be extended to country-wide surveys too, who would ever know that they had been taken only from a small select and possibly biased population? Not saying this is definitely the case (though it would not surprise me) but you would never know.
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Amoeba
 
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[QUOTE=Amoeba;617019]

FirstWave, that was very creepy. O.O Are you still being pestered about it?[/QUOTE]

No after I declined they left me alone.
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FirstWave
 
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[QUOTE=Squawk;617032] is that they can so easily be fabricated to say anything.

[/QUOTE]

True! And it is done all the time.
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FirstWave
 
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by Andy
I'm a firm believer that nothing can truly be "known," since we are so subjective in creating reality; objectivity is humanly impossible because we are based around our subjective perceptions of reality through our senses.... not to mention, science assumes that the signals that are relayed to our brain are accurate and truthful..... ever consider the fact that our brains fool us every night into believing in a completely altered reality, one in which we rarely question at all? (With the exception being lucid dreams --- fascinating phenomenon)...

Statistics will always be false because the concepts/budgets/events they represent aren't static.... people change their minds all the time.... people create all the items that statistics are based upon, and the way that one person interprets statistics that claim 80% of people find that bananas are "very toothsome" will probably be different than another; since we all interpret reality differently. In other words; what one person considers objective may not correspond to another person's concept of objectivity.... and thoughts cannot be "perfectly" transferred from the mind to another medium (unless mental telepathy is possible; which is an amazingly beautiful concept if you ask me)...

not to mention, what in the heck is a number in the first place? have you ever really pondered this in depth? it's a representation of reality; a scale of 1-10 about emotional levels is somehow supposed to correspond to the chaotic and multi-layered realm of mental moods?

In fact, or maybe I should say "in opinion," maybe I'm not making any sense whatsoever to who is reading this because I simply can't accurately capture my notions of subjective and objective reality into written language..... everything is a pointer; everything points to something else... a number points to an aspect of reality; i.e. populations, "money," co2 levels.... we never "directly" touch anything due to the opposition of the electrons in the atoms of our bodies and the electrons in the atoms of whatever we're touching; yet we still feel the energy as a distinctive and unique "texture!" How amazing.. I am fascinated by "bisocation," taking two seemingly unrelated schools of thought or concepts and finding the connections in-between; that's what I'm attempting to articulate in this response. I'm trying to propose that all statistics cannot be accurate due to the dynamic/changing nature of life and the subjective notions of how people organize and scale data.... while reflecting on the "gaps" between so many aspects of Earthly life! The gaps between words (interpretation); the gaps between input and output, speaking and hearing, seeing and denying, touching and feeling, living and dying..... neuron synapses... (please consider the fact that I'm sleep deprived.... that doesn't help matters all too much). I hope this makes sense, at least somewhat!

Here's a quote that I came up with a few weeks ago; maybe it will help better capture what I'm trying to express, although in a somewhat opposing yet similarly-related way (yes, I realize that is a paradox --- as is life itself!);

"An equation is a transposition of the mind itself, waiting to be revealed."
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