Thursday, October 12, 2006

Did they say "divisive" or " decisive"

One of the "acid" questions so to speak asked on the recorded telephone survey was

Question: Traditionally, Northwest Allen County schools have received strong community support. Do you feel two high schools would be divisive to the community? Strongly agree two high schools would be divisive, somewhat agree two high schools would be divisive, somewhat disagree two high schools would be divisive, or strongly disagree two high schools would be divisive.

here is what the Expert from Educational Services Company had to say about the responses.

Analysis: The only educational level that feels two high schools is not divisive are those respondents with advanced degrees (57%)

I was speaking with some people about the survey the other day and was reading the questions. One of them asked me if I had said "divisive" or " decisive?" These two words meanings are totally opposite of each other. So I decided to do a quick survey, by no means errorless, but it raises a question about the accuracy and legitamacy of the question. When I substituted divisive with the word divide, I got some different responses. Since this was a recorded survey and all heard the same question the same way, how many misunderstood the question? Could they ask the question be repeated?

A survy they uses a word that sound so much like another with opposite meanings is just plane poor use of words. It may not have changed the out come much if at all, but some took it to mean that it would improve the quality

divisive - creating disunity or dissension
decisive - having the power or quality of deciding

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NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002