SurveyMan: Programming and Automatically Debugging Surveys
Surveys can be viewed as programs, complete with logic, control flow, and bugs. Word choice or the order in which questions are asked can unintentionally bias responses. Vague, confusing, or intrusive questions can cause respondents to abandon a survey. Surveys can also have runtime errors: inattentive respondents can taint results. This effect is especially problematic when deploying surveys in uncontrolled settings, such as on the web or via crowdsourcing platforms. Because the results of surveys drive business decisions and inform scientific conclusions, it is crucial to make sure they are correct.