AP Statistics classes recently conducted surveys and made projects to show the effects that wording bias can have on the results of their data. Wording bias is changing the phrasing of a question in order to change the responses you will receive. The projects created by the AP Statistics students were great examples of the effects wording bias can have.
In a survey conducted by seniors Saira Bhatti and Olivia Guron, 52 sophomores attending Bellevue High School were asked if they considered themselves to be feminists. 77 percent of the students asked did not consider themselves to be feminist while 23 percent of the students asked did.
The second question Bhatti and Guron asked students was whether they believed in gender equality. Compared to the last question 100 percent of the students asked said that they did in fact believe in gender equality. Bhatti and Guron found that wording bias was prevalent in the results of this survey because by using the word “feminism” the number dropped from 100 percent of students choosing yes, to only 23 percent choosing yes.
Junior Ellie Bryant and senior Jake Satterlee surveyed 103 Bellevue High School juniors about whether they preferred Frosted Flakes or Cheerios, but with about 47 of the students they included the amount of sugar per serving of each cereal in the question. When the amount of sugar was included the percent of students who said they preferred Frosted Flakes over Cheerios was about 34 percent and when the amount of sugar was not included the percent of students who said they preferred Frosted Flakes was about 63 percent.
In another survey conducted by seniors Claire Albright and Russel Addington, they found that when 25 senior Bellevue High School students were asked whether they would ever consider being vegetarians, only about 20 percent of students said yes. However when 28 different seniors at Bellevue High School were asked the question, “would you ever consider being a vegetarian knowing that red meat causes cancer and takes up to six years off your life?”, about 54 percent of students said yes.