Another dot in the blogosphere?

You get what you measure

Posted on: June 29, 2019


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The video above led with this question: Does drinking alcohol enhance creativity? The short and accurate answer is that it depends on which aspect of creativity your define and measure.

One way to respond to the issue of asking difficult questions is not to ask them in the first place. You might not like the answers you get. Think about leaders and managers asking how their employees feel about work, for example. But if you do not ask such questions, you risk cutting off a key sensing method. Blind policy is as awful as bad policy.

Designers and creators of polls and surveys have figured out strategies of asking questions that lead to desired answers. So have researchers and teachers.

Survey design 101 for pollsters, researchers, and teachers is that you get what you measure. This is not always a good thing because you also do not get insights on what you do not ask.
 

 
How might a layperson react to such knowledge? Be aware that the answers of surveys, research, and tests are often small spotlights on a much larger tapestry. You do not have the full picture, so you should not make rash decisions on what is incomplete.

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