An example of a contrast effect can be seen in a Pew Research Center poll conducted in October 2003 that found that people were more likely to favor allowing gays and lesbians to enter into legal agreements that give them the same rights as married couples when this question was asked after one about whether they favored or opposed allowing gays and lesbians to marry (45% favored legal agreements when asked after the marriage question, but 37% favored legal agreements without the immediate preceding context of a question about gay marriage). Responses to the question about gay marriage, meanwhile, were not significantly affected by its placement before or after the legal agreements question.
In general, questions that use simple and concrete language are more easily understood by respondents. It is especially important to consider the education level of the survey population when thinking about how easy it will be for respondents to interpret and answer a question. Double negatives (e.g., do you favor or oppose not allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry) or unfamiliar abbreviations or jargon (e.g., ANWR instead of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) can result in respondent confusion and should be avoided.
Think long and hard before shelling out any money: Some work-at-home jobs will require you to purchase materials or equipment to get started, and while that doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate, it should be a red flag. If you are asked to pay for equipment, make sure you understand what you’re buying, and from whom. Also ask about the return policy for your equipment if your new gig doesn’t work out.
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