The Stupid Surveys
By Apolinario Villalobos
Nowadays, there are so many surveys conducted by various survey firms which are of course paid for by parties that will benefit from the “expected” favorable results. Big companies, political units and even nations spend so much money for the flattering and self-serving favorable results. Surveys can be effective only if the whole targeted responders are captured, but if not even 1% of the total has been interviewed for their views…then, the survey results should better be told to the Marines!
How can for instance a survey, give assurance that a certain candidate will surely win during an election when the majority of the voting population has not been interviewed? To top it all, their assurance is based on a further confusing mathematical formula. So, there’s the trick – the more confused the ordinary citizens become, the better for these survey firms to insist that they are right, and the more that they make their clients happy. They want the ordinary citizens to believe that the results are products of “highly intelligent” surveys…conducted by “intelligent” people! While some surveys are based on personal views and opinions, others are on perception which make the results more “imagined”….unrealistic. Simply stated, how can a personal view become representative of the rest, opinions as truthful, and perception as generally realistic?
The way I see it, these surveys are the workings of “research” firms that have run out of anything to do and clients who trust them. They have come up with this novel idea that can flatter egoistic groups that we call business firms, political groups, educational institutions, and governments. These surveys are also the result of the marketing strategies that need to be updated to make them attractive to clients. Schools want to attract enrollees, business firms want more clients, political groups want more donors and followers, and governments want a “third opinion” that would qualify their claim for success in their administration…all selfish objectives which at the end are supposed to be satisfied with self-serving survey results, that would later find their way in advertising spaces!
What the clients should do, instead of squandering millions in surveys for self-serving results, is require their advertising agencies to gather hard data from records that are available, to support their contentions. The truthful and realistic information shall no longer cause a single eyebrow to be raised every time the reports are splashed on the front pages of dailies, as well as, broadcasted on air lane and TV screen….at least, the doubting Thomas can be directed to the records on file.