I have registered for numerous surveys from numerous survey sites – primarily those with news and politics as their core concerns – as it allows me to get an idea for upcoming issues as well as actually see the genuine questions ("Who would you like to batter to death with a hermit crab on a desert island?") rather than the reported results ("80% of people recently surveyed said they’d like to spend time on a tropical island with Tony Blair").
One such site is Sky News Panel. They will soon be making a virtual appearance in the online escape-from-reality that is Second Life and to celebrate this event they commissioned a short survey about people’s wishes for their own second life.
There is nothing apparently sinister about the mostly light-hearted survey but I do have to wonder whether there might not be some headline in the not-too-distant future about how Britons wish they were more outgoing people.
Why? Because of this question:
What would you rather be? More outgoing, less not outgoing than you are now, about the same as you are only more outgoing, the sort of person who’d be more outgoing than you, or you wouldn’t change a thing except be more outgoing?
I know that most surveys are created to twist the results in one direction anyway but I really think that Sky should consider hiring someone who can hide their bias a little better. Half the fun of filling these surveys in is so that I can guess what needs to be pushed later down the line but sloppy question-preparation like this just spoils it for everyone.