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From today's issue of 'The Australian': Those who ask the questions have a lot to answer for
A STAGGERING new study shows 80 per cent of commissioned community surveys come up with conclusions that support the cause of the people who paid for them.
The report, from the Association of Survey Study, examined market research undertaken for all sorts of organisations. It covered a census for the Union of Life Saving Scientists that found its members worked an average 160-hour week and donated all of their income to charity. More than 80 per cent of the
scientific stakhanovites ticked the box that asked whether the only thing standing between them and a call from the Nobel Prize people was inadequate government funding.
A report on podiatry, commissioned by the National Feet Forum, demonstrated that government was out of step with public opinion. Apparently 40 per cent of parents were "alarmed" and 30 per cent "appalled" when the survey taker told them inadequate public funding could lead to an epidemic of fallen arches when today's toddlers are 80.
The Association of Survey Study said these were excellent results, demonstrating how public opinion polls can provide sponsors with value for money....