Some residents of Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier and New York’s Southern Tier received an opinion survey from Cornell University this week regarding “fracking.” It was constructed to appear unbiased, but is far from it.
A questionnaire distributed by Cornell University this week illustrates the subtle bias found in so much of academia and in superficial public opinion surveys. I have no doubt the researchers are sincere and believe they have constructed an objective research tool, but that’s the problem. The 28 questions asked, and the introductory explanation, as well as the cover letter and survey technique, all reflect a subtle bias against shale gas development that will almost certainly yield results tilted toward the anti-development view. They will also, without a doubt, and like a preceding study, conclude residents have unanswered concerns that require more study, as is all too typical with such research.
The survey was distributed by the Department of Natural Resources, Human Dimensions Research Unit, at Cornell University.
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