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Framing a Research Question: Holocaust Scenario

Examine the following two questions from the Roper Center's July/August 1994 publication, The Public Perspective, from John (Jay) Stewart's (University of Hartford) posting on the methods net and are also noted in Babbie.

In November 1992 the Roper Center did a survey for the American Jewish Committee using the following question: "Does it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jewish People never happened?"

65% Impossible it never happened
12% Don't know
22% Possible it never happened

In March 1994 the Roper Center asked the following question with the following results: "Does it seem possible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jewish People never happened or do you feel certain that it happened?"

91% Certain it happened
8% Don't know
1% Possible it never happened

What do you believe happened with these questions and why are they so different?

Solution Preview

The two responses are quite different because the wording in the questions will elicit different responses from the individuals surveyed. In the first question, survey participants are ...

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