General FAQs About Research
Frequently Asked Questions About Research
1. Why should I participate?
Your participation in research makes a difference. Surveys and qualitative research (e.g. focus groups) are ways for you to express your opinions to community and agency leaders. Our clients pay attention to the results and often take them into account in decision-making. We encourage everyone to participate so that the results will represent the full range of opinions in your community.
2. How do I know this research is legitimate?
NWRG is a member of the Insights Association. As a member, we adhere to a rigorous code of conduct. We provide an overview of each study including in most cases the sponsoring agency, as well as who to contact if you have any additional questions.
3. Why do you ask personal questions?
Most surveys ask you to provide demographic information or profile data (such as age, income, education, household composition). This information is strictly voluntary but it ensures that we are talking to a true cross-section of the population. Your background also has a lot to do with your opinions and behaviors and the choices you make. This information allows us to understand how opinions differ across different age, education, household and more groups and provides a deeper look into where our clients’ efforts are best focused.
Your demographic information is NEVER linked to anything that would personally identifies you (e.g., your phone number or address). And we NEVER provide this information to any third-party.
4. How did you get my phone number?
Most good telephone surveys of the general public use what is called a random digit dial (or “RDD”) sampling technique to generate the sample of phone numbers used in the survey. The goal is to ensure that your telephone has the same chance of being dialed as any other telephone in area where we are conducting the survey. When using this type of telephone sample, we and our interviewers do not know the names of the people who are called. Even so, we still carefully protect the phone numbers. Your phone number is NEVER associated with your individual responses to the survey questionnaire.
5. Why are you calling my mobile phone?
Today nearly two out of five households no longer have a landline telephone and a similar number rarely answer their landline phone. To ensure that we represent all households we draw a random sample of cell phone numbers in the area where we are conducting the survey.
When we do so, we exercise caution. We understand our legal obligations restricting the use of autodialers for wireless calls absent permission from the recipient and we have procedures in place to ensure that we comply with these obligations. We also know that by definition you may be “mobile.” We always ask to ensure that you are in a place where it is safe and comfortable for you to respond. We respect your preferences and you may opt out.
6. How did you get my address?
Address-based sampling is becoming increasingly common as it an effective way to reach all households in a given geographic area. We purchase a sample of addresses from that uses the US Postal Service’s Delivery Sequence File. Addresses that have associated phone numbers are contacted by phone while those without phone numbers are contacted by mail and invited to return an enclosed survey via mail, complete the survey online, or call an 800 number to participate in the research.
Your address and, if applicable, your associated phone number are NEVER associated with your individual responses to the survey questionnaire.
7. Why do you call my number multiple times or leave messages on my voicemail?
People today are busy and are often not home or are on the phone with someone else when we call. Moreover, individuals often do not answer when they are busy or involved with friends or family members. We make multiple attempts to each number in our sample to ensure that we reach everyone including very busy people or those who might not be home the first time we call. This ensures that the results of the research are truly representative and the agencies and businesses we are working with can be confident in the results and the important decisions they are making that in the long run affect you.
8. Can I be on your database to be called?
While we appreciate people who want to participate, we can’t base our research on volunteers and we do not maintain a database of possible respondents. The surveys we do generally require a probability sample so that the results can be projected to the population as a whole. A survey of volunteers is a “non-probability sample” and the results would not accurately represent the entire community we are surveying.
9. Will I get paid if I do a study for NWRG?
In general we do not pay respondents to complete a survey. We make every effort to minimize the length of the questions and to make the process interesting. Your participation does benefit the agency we are representing.
Recognizing the value of your time and as a way to make a contribution to a better world, Northwest Research Group donates $1.00 for every completed survey to a carefully chosen charitable organization. We recently donated $4,500 to Legal Momentum, a charity that provides legal aid to vulnerable women.
10. I’m on the Do Not Call list so why did you call me?
The national Do Not Call Registry was established by the Federal Trade Commission. The law made it illegal for telemarketers to call consumers with whom they did not have a prior business relationship.
The FTC exempted survey and opinion research because it is a critical part of making and monitoring policy decisions. Researchers collect and measure public opinion and feed it into the policy process so that the views and values of the citizenry have a place at the table when decisions are made.
Survey research is used in a variety of ways, from providing us with the Census to tracking immunizations. Research gives elected officials a reality check, and can protect against policy decisions based only on assumptions, guesswork and ideology.
We hope that you will continue to participate in these studies. However, you may request our research partners to place your name on their Do Not Call List.