One of the more common mistakes survey writers make is including a “don’t know” or “no opinion” response. Doing so provides an easy way for respondents to avoid engaging with the subject of the question.
It’s often harder to say ‘no’ than ‘yes.’ This has been the subject of numerous self-help book chapters and blog posts. However, many people are surprised to learn that this is also a serious issue to consider in survey design.
Survey errors reduce, but don’t necessarily eliminate, our ability to accurately make inference to the larger population. Consequently, understanding survey errors is key to understanding survey data quality.