Skip to main content

Presenting Survey Results

We can learn a lot about presenting survey results by looking at what experts do. The scientists at Pew Research presented findings from a Christmas in America survey. Take a look at their work.

1. Focus on highlights. For general audiences, select the most important facts. For example, it is no big news to say over 90% of Christian Americans celebrate Christmas. But to learn there’s a drop in celebrating Christmas as a religious rather than a cultural holiday is news (46% down from 51% in 2013). It’s also interesting to learn that younger persons are lower on the religious emphasis than are older adults. Of course, to focus on highlights, you have to create good survey questions in the first place. So, check out the items Pew reports to make their findings more meaningful (e.g., include age groups and religious affiliation in your survey).

2. Use percentages and graphics to depict trends. On fact 2, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Pew shows a change in the trend for “it doesn’t matter” what people say in stores or businesses. Endorsing the phrase “It doesn’t matter” rose from 45% in 2005 to 52% in 2017. Percentages make sense to most educated readers. Means and standard deviations are not as widely understood. Simple line and bar graphs also help readers avoid losing focus in dense text. Again, see the Pew examples: Christmas in America survey.

3. Pew does a good job of presenting different answers to a complex question about Christian displays (e.g., Nativity scenes) on government property. Some think the displays should never be allowed (26%), others think its fine if there are other symbols (29%), while most think they should be allowed without other symbols (37%). By presenting years 2014 and 2017 on two different lines, we see how the views have changed. In addition, the report uses color to help us compare the different group responses.

4. Present controversial beliefs with enough detail to make it clear who believes what. Pew asked questions about the historicity of the Christmas story events—things like virgin birth and visitors guided by a star. The key words for each item are printed next to the data presented for two recent years (2014 and 2017). We see that belief in the virgin birth dropped from 73 to 66% from 2014 to 2017. You do have to read the text to learn that the findings are different among those in the sample who identify as Christian.

For those wanting more detail, Pew includes a link to their “Religion & Public Life” page. If you follow the link, you will see much more detail in the tables. The tables also provide another example of how to present data to a general audience.

Learn more about Creating Surveys on AMAZON    or   GOOGLE  Worldwide

Connect and follow


Twitter @GeoffWSutton

Facebook:  GeoffWSutton

Publications (many free downloads)
     Academia   Geoff W Sutton   (PhD)
     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton   (PhD)


Popular posts from this blog

Personal Self-Concept Questionnaire (PSQ)

  The Personal Self-Concept Questionnaire  ( PSQ )   Overview The Personal Self-Concept Questionnaire (PSQ) measures self-concept based on ratings of 18 items, which are grouped into four categories: Self-fulfilment, autonomy, honesty, and emotional self-concept. Subscales : The PSQ has four subscales 1. Self-fulfilment (6 items) 2. Autonomy (4 items) 3. Honesty (3 items) 4. Emotional self-concept (5 items)  👉 [ Read more about Self-Concept and Self-Identity] The PSQ is a Likert-type scale with five response options ranging from totally disagree to totally agree. Reliability and Validity In the first study, coefficient alpha = .85 and in study two, alpha = .83. Data analysis supported a four-dimensional model (see the four categories above). Positive correlations with other self-concept measures were statistically significant. Other notes The authors estimated it took about 10 minutes to complete the PSQ. Their first study included people ages 12 to 36 ( n = 506). In the second s

Student Self-Efficacy

  Assessment name:  STUDENT SELF-EFFICACY SCALE * Note. This post has been updated to provide an available measure of student self-efficacy. ———- Scale overview:  The  student self-efficacy scale i s a 10-item measure of self-efficacy. It was developed using data from university nursing students in the United States. Authors: Melodie Rowbotham and Gerdamarie Schmitz Response Type:  A four-choice rating scale as follows: 1 = not at all true 2 = hardly true 3 = moderately true 4 = exactly true   Self-efficacy is the perception that a person can act in a way to achieve a desired goal.  Scale items There are 10 items. Examples: I am confident in my ability to learn, even if I am having a bad day. If I try hard enough, I can obtain the academic goals I desire.   Psychometric properties The authors reported that their sample scores ranged from 25 to 40 with a scale mean of 34.23 ( SD  = 3.80. Internal consistency was high at alpha = .84. The authors reported the results of a principal compon

Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Anxiety Questionnaire (MSEAQ)

  Scale name: Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Anxiety Questionnaire (MSEAQ) Scale overview: The Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Anxiety Questionnaire (MSEAQ) is a 29-item self-report measure of both mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics anxiety. Author: Diana Kathleen May Response Type: Items are rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale following a “no response” option: 1 = Never 2 = Seldom 3 = Sometimes 4 = Often 5 = usually Sample items 1. I feel confident enough to ask questions  in my mathematics class. 6. I worry that I will not be able to get a  good grade in my mathematics course.   Subscales and basic statistics for the MSEAQ       Self-Efficacy M = 44.11, SD = 10.78, alpha = .93       Anxiety M = 46.47, SD = 12.61, alpha = .93       Total Scale M = 90.58, SD = 22.78, alpha = .96 Reliability: See the Cronbach’s alpha levels reported above. Validity: There were significant positive correlations with similar measures. The results of a Fa