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Top Five Takeaways from AAPOR 2015

featured / survey research / conferences / quality control

Last week I attended the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Annual Conference for the first time. These are my top 5 takeaways:

  1. AAPOR is a strong association and conference. Perhaps this goes without saying but it is not the case with all organizations. AAPOR members are dedicated to their industry and passionate about research. This is also how we approach the field at FMG and it is nice to spend time with like-minded industry colleagues. The amount of work that volunteers have put into making AAPOR a strong association is a testament to the quality of membership. With significant threats to the current practice of survey methodology such as non-response, AAPOR is tackling these issues head on... more
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Learning About the Big Picture - Tackling Economic Challenges at the Micro Level

featured / economics / consumer behavior / conferences

When I tell people that I have a Ph.D. in economics, I get all kinds of responses. One of my favorites has been, "Oh, home economics?" "Yeah, you look like you'd be an artist or something." That said, one of the most common responses I get is, ‘Why would you want to study something so difficult and boring?" - although they usually try to phrase it more diplomatically. I take that as my cue to launch into some explanation/apology about loving math and how actually economics incorporates lots of interesting ideas and at its core is nothing more than studying how people make choices. And if you happen to love overanalyzing things, perhaps you will agree with me that there is nothing more interesting than... more

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Public Data and Public Health - Using Open Data to Promote Health and Safety

featured / public health / behavioral research / health research

Every two years, George Mason University hosts the D.C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC), which brings together people across the academic, government, and private sectors to discuss issues and opportunities related to health communication. On April 16-18, researchers and practitioners converged on Fairfax, VA, for this year's DCHC. George Mason University DC Health Communication

The panel and poster presentations covered a wide array of topics, including intercultural communication competence, health advocacy, computer-mediated communication and health, and the application of big data to health communication research. Fors Marsh Group was among the presenters at DCHC this year, and we discussed and demonstrated how publicly available data from national surveys can be used to identify tobacco prevention messaging strategies—a topic which... more

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Fors Marsh Group Deepens Its Public Policy Research Expertise with New Subject Matter Expert

election / voting / federal contracting / featured / news

April 23, 2015 – Fors Marsh Group (FMG) has broadened its public policy and election administration capabilities with the hiring of subject matter expert Dr. Thad Hall. Thad will be instrumental in continuing the strategic expansion of FMG’s public policy research capacity in support of clients such as the Department of Defense, Federal Voting Assistance Program, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“We warmly welcome Thad as we continue to grow and diversify our team,” said Fors Marsh Group Chief Research Officer Brian Griepentrog. “Our growth is a direct response to the needs of our federal clients. Thad’s expertise in policy and election administration coupled with his superb consulting and research skill set will certainly benefit our clients. I look forward to Thad growing... more

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Webcams in Remote User Experience Testing - Advantages and Drawbacks

featured / user experience / eye tracking / usability

When it comes to UX testing of desktop websites and prototypes, our preference as UX researchers is to conduct moderated sessions in the lab because we collect richer qualitative data; however, remote moderated sessions have their own advantages. For starters, it's generally less expensive in that you don't have facility costs. It also allows you to obtain a more geographically diverse sample, because it eliminates the requirement that your participants be located within a certain distance from the facility. Lastly, it also helps mitigate lab effects because participants will (ideally) be interacting with the interface in their natural environments (1).

The advantages of remote moderated testing are well-known, but some aspects that don't get discussed enough are the technical requirements and the necessary equipment.... more

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Raising the Grade on Chronic Disease

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research

Over the past two decades, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has put on National Public Health Week (NPHW) during the first full week of April. Each year, NPHW focuses on public health issues in the United States by bringing together national, state, and local partners to highlight areas of improvement for our nation. Today marks the first day of NPHW 2015, which is themed "Raising the Grade."

The driving force behind "Raising the Grade" is the recognition that even though the U.S. is rife with high-quality doctors, procedures, and pharmaceuticals, we are still behind other countries in key areas such as life expectancy, infant mortality rate, and prevalence of chronic disease. In particular, as noted on the NPHW website, rates in the... more

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