Comparing Surveys. CEP (July 2014) and UDP (Sept-Oct 2014) in Education.

One of the positive consequences that there are several surveys is the possibility to compare their results. And as the topic of education has taken a good part of the public agenda in recent months, something of use will be in the exercise of comparing results around these questions.

A few months ago, the CEP released results of education questions that were fairly discussed by flawed, biased and that we also try in this blog (link here and here). Recently, the ICSO of the UDP released its survey of regular public opinion, which was also a topic. Now, the results of the PEB gave the impression of a strong rejection of the reforms of education, while what would be the survey of UDP would be, in principle, the opposite of this. What are the impressions of disparity certain? If so, does that tell us about the surveys and about what can be interpreted from them?

Let us start with the general data of each survey (summarized in the following table). In the case of the CEP has mixed elements of the question and answer to be able to summarize the information -given that she both elements are significant. The survey UDP, in general, have simple forms of response (agree or disagree) with what the mere presentation of the question is sufficient.

Item Percentage
Approval that the parents can supplement the allowance educational grants the State through a co-payment (paying tuition and/or tuition) to improve the education of their children? (CEP July) 52
Approval of the private schools subsidized, in addition to delivering education, generate revenue to their owners as long as they have a good level and parents are informed (CEP July) 49
Approval that the religious schools have an admission process to verify if the families are committed to the educational project and the values of the college (CEP July) 37
Approval that the colleges of excellence of the country, such as the National Institute, they select their students through entrance exams (CEP July) 54
Approval Education to be provided by the State only, so that all receive the same education (CEP July) 41
Importance to end up with the profit in school education, scale 1-7 (UDP September-October) 5,94
Importance to end the co-education school, scale 1-7 (UDP September-October) 5,63
Importance to end with the selection of students in education average, scale 1-7 (UDP September-October) 5,55
Schools private-subsidized should happen to be of the State (UDP-September-October) 57
Should not have private schools paid, but only public schools (UDP September-October) 49
All the private universities should become of the State (UDP-September-October) 60

The first thing is that there really isn’t much of a difference. The questions where you expressed the opinion anti-reform in the CEP are not the one that makes the UDP. The question of importance of the UDP is not a question of accession, finally, (‘is very important and is a very poor’ is not an answer contradictory). The only thing they both ask is on the topic of the role of the State and although there are differences, both basically say the same thing: A very high percentage of the population suggests that the State should take charge of all education. A figure is very high for a country that has provision mixed more than a century ago, and where that topic is, in fact, is not between what the reforms propose.

What is it that happens?

On the one hand it is possible to insist on the issue of bias. The comparison between the questions UDP (which is simpler) and the CEP (which are more complex, integrate more of a consideration) is, in general, favorable to the UDP. At least they are more simple to interpret. However, as we already did mention in his opportunity, the bias is not an issue so central -the data of all forms is usable if it is interpreted properly.

What we would like to insist is rather another thing. A person has about a particular topic multiple considerations (think several things). When they are aligned and reinforce the effect of a question is weaker in general (i.and if one is consistently anti-X, no matter how you ask the question one will respond to anti-X). But these considerations are not so aligned, and there are some that impel it to think a certain way and others that encourage you to think of another way, then yes effects occur in questions (i.and if the question makes me think, then I answer pro-X; if the question makes me think of B, then I respond to anti-X). Now, there is no question that you can avoid think of any consideration and there is no question that you can do think of all the considerations (All of this summing up some ideas that are in Tourangeau et al, The Psychology of Survey Response, which is a book something old -is-2000 – but I think it is still interesting and useful).

Let us think, then, in our case. We can say the following: Talk that the State is in charge of schools can make to think of people (it is a hypothesis but I think reasonable to explore it) in the old education tax that I have the impression is relatively good view. Then, if I think about it, I will make to agree with changes ‘estatalizantes’. Talk about co-pay to improve it makes me think of the reasons you pay that co-pay (or I’d like to do it if I could) and therefore it makes me think of objecting to these changes. What is important is to stress that, if we are correct, these differences are not ways of distorting reality, correspond to what happens in reality.

Reflect that in relation to Education, the chilean citizens have multiple ideas, that still don’t quite crystallize. In other words, they are thinking about it. This can be a problem for those of us who work to investigate and survey the view, but it is still something positive in terms of public deliberation.

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