Monday, 30 July 2012

Leading Questions

On our unofficial football forum occasionally we get requests to fill in questionnaires on a variety of subjects but generally related to football in some way, for example this one on the issue of safe standing.

Sometimes we get different requests which are made by universities, such as this one posted last week by Staffordshire University on the subject of 'Barbaric Britain', titled:
In the first phase of this research a third of the people who participated believed Britain was returning to a less civilized, barbaric condition, while the rest thought this was an exaggeration. We’d now like to explore this more deeply.
However despite intentions of 'exploring this more deeply' as an example of leading questions I'm not sure this can be bettered - trying to achieve certain responses couldn't be more obvious, here's an example of the questions (click to enlarge):


The questionnaire has such an amateurish feel to it, initial reaction is that it is one designed for a undergraduate's thesis. But no, here's the profiles of the two senior academics involved:

Dr Jamie Cleland, Senior Lecturer in Sport Sociology:
I joined the teaching staff at Staffordshire University in September 2005 and teach on the sport sociology modules. I achieved my PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2008 under the supervision of Dr Roger Levermore and Dr Vic Duke and continue to be research active.

Expertise: Sociological analysis of sport (see research interests below)
Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis
And Professor Ellis Cashmore, Professor of culture, media and sport:
I am professor of culture, media and sport. Previously, I was professor of sociology at the University of Tampa, USA, and, before, that lecturer in sociology at the University of Hong Kong.
Expertise: I have been doing research in race and ethnicity and other aspects of contemporary culture for over thirty years.
Their research findings feature in national publications such as the Guardian, based on an equally suspect questionnaire. Interestingly enough, on Staffordshire Univeristy's Research Funding Opportunities page we have this:
EU Funding is provided by the European Union, the funding involves a partnership of companies and Universities. The University has recently being working with Italian based organisation CE.S.I.E. This company works towards the promotion of cultural, educational, scientific and economic development by using innovative tools and methods. Staffordshire University, CE.S.I.E and other European organisations have secured over €350,000 from the European Commission. They will be working together to produce a more effective way of improving people's skills whilst they are at work.
Anyway you can fill in the questionnaire here, not that I for one moment is suggesting that my readers attempt to skewer the results yourself out.


  1. Mike Spilligan30 July 2012 at 20:24

    Did you get the spelling right? I think it should be Prof. Morecash.

  2. Even the spooks are becoming amateurish pillocks, BF.

  3. I completed the survey, apart from question 8. The bias in that question is beyond belief.
    I then tried to submit, no success so far.

  4. Sport sociology is not exactly the most academic of subjects.
    "Hatred against"? I suppose he means hatred of.
    Let me see, his next bit of research will be about what deodorant athletes use?

  5. Cameron need look no further for assistance to draft the 'in/out' referendum . . .

  6. Try another survey:

  7. Answered all questions and got this

    "Unfortunately, a problem has occured whilst processing your details. We apologise for the inconvenience."