"CBS, Ork ork ork ork, soep eet je met een..."

An article, posted almost 14 years ago filed in experience, work, science, interview, questionaire, statistics & volunteer.

In Dutch, there is a small joke that people tell to children: "ork ork ork, soep eetje met een…" (which translates to: "ork ork ork, you eat soup using a…" Most children will initially say 'vork' ('fork'), but of course the right answer is 'lepel' ('spoon')… and while most children know this, most answer incorrectly. The example above is a typical example of how order of presentation can influence an answer in a questionnaire.

Not so long ago I was phoned by a representative of the Dutch bureau of statistics, CBS. It was an interview about the volunteer work and my willingness to do more. After about 6 or 8 questions, like "Do you volunteer in work for a sports society?", "Do you volunteer in work for elderly? " … etc., a question was asked whether I'd like to do more volunteer work. Well, hell yes! I was feeling guilty after having answered so many times 'no' to 'little' to each of the questions she was asking. Yes, I think everyone has a responsibi…

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