MANILA — The University of the Philippines (UP) School of Statistics on Monday urged the public to be critical of survey results published online as it warned of opinion polls with unclear methodologies, particularly "kalye surveys."
Faculty members of the UP School of Statistics said they observed "some entities" conducting their own research with ambiguous data-gathering methods and promoting these studies on social media.
"We have been observing these practices, including surveys not based on random sampling, such as videos of 'kalye surveys' being done by some vloggers and suspicious online surveys, especially on Twitter and Facebook," they said in a statement.
"We also witness PR companies, private individuals, and even some media organizations publishing results of surveys with unclear methodologies," they added.
The statement did not name any of the entities nor specify if the surveys are related to the May 9 elections.
The faculty members explained that survey sample selection and data collection can generate "biased" results.
These can happen when "the sample tends to favor a segment of the population" and when "an interviewer purposely affects the answers of the respondents."
"Biased methodologies will only give biased results. Thus, we call on the public to be critical of surveys in this respect. Do not immediately accept survey results as they are," they said.
The educators said the following questions should be asked regarding survey methods:
- How was the sample selected?
- Which sectors of the population, if any, are being represented?
- What events surround the period of data gathering?
- When facing an interviewer, was the respondent interviewed in a neutral yet professional tone?
- What are the control mechanisms implemented to ensure accuracy of the protocols in data collection?
The faculty members said the UP School of Statistics would remain vigilant "in fighting for the ethical practice of statistical science."
"We aspire for a statistically literate country that uses surveys for illumination and sound decision-making," it said.