I’m an anonymous (for now) research professional with very little patience for stupidity, both at work and in the real world.
I believe the research industry is a mess, on both the public opinion and the market research sides of the business — and I believe the vast majority of the problems are caused by the people writing the research, not the respondents. Yes, “professional survey takers” are a problem, but the bigger problem is that researchers are creating research that tends to range between mediocre and horrid. Questions are too long; answer choices are rarely mutually exclusive; phrasing is too filled with jargon. Respondents are asked to compare too many items on too many axises. Interface design is horrible. Redundant questions, supposedly created to weed out “cheaters,” instead encourage “cheating” by making the research projects too unwieldy for average respondents to cope with.
In short, it’s bad. Really, really bad.
Let’s make it better.