View Poll Results: Is the option "other" necessary on every poll?

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14. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes (explain)

    4 28.57%
  • No (explain)

    5 35.71%
  • Other (explain)

    3 21.43%
  • THIS is a bad poll (explain)

    2 14.29%
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Thread: A Poll About Polls

  1. #21
    Educator Grateful Heart's Avatar
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    First of all, it is not self-explanatory, and you have yet to explain yourself.
    Okay, let's go through this step by step.

    The question you posed is 'Does your right hand have five fingers?'

    You claimed there are 'only two' possible responses to this question.

    You claimed there are no other responses that make sense.

    What you failed to consider is that not everyone has a right hand.

    The man in the picture cannot reasonably answer your question 'yes' or 'no'.

    You might argue that since he has no right hand, he must answer 'no', since he does not have five fingers on his non-existent right hand. However, your question presumes he does have a real right hand, not an imaginary right hand. If you suggest that he has an 'imaginary' right hand, then you could 'imagine' any number of fingers on that hand. In that case, the answer could be six, or three or twelve fingers.

    The bottom line is that I have provided a very reasonable scenario in which your yes or no question might have some other answer.


  2. #22
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Okay, let's go through this step by step.

    The question you posed is 'Does your right hand have five fingers?'

    You claimed there are 'only two' possible responses to this question.

    You claimed there are no other responses that make sense.

    What you failed to consider is that not everyone has a right hand.

    The man in the picture cannot reasonably answer your question 'yes' or 'no'.

    You might argue that since he has no right hand, he must answer 'no', since he does not have five fingers on his non-existent right hand. However, your question presumes he does have a real right hand, not an imaginary right hand. If you suggest that he has an 'imaginary' right hand, then you could 'imagine' any number of fingers on that hand. In that case, the answer could be six, or three or twelve fingers.

    The bottom line is that I have provided a very reasonable scenario in which your yes or no question might have some other answer.

    If the man answers 'no' he saying "my right hand does not have 5 fingers".

    You're exactly right.

  3. #23
    Pathetic Douchebag
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Okay, let's go through this step by step.

    The question you posed is 'Does your right hand have five fingers?'

    You claimed there are 'only two' possible responses to this question.

    You claimed there are no other responses that make sense.

    What you failed to consider is that not everyone has a right hand.

    The man in the picture cannot reasonably answer your question 'yes' or 'no'.

    You might argue that since he has no right hand, he must answer 'no', since he does not have five fingers on his non-existent right hand. However, your question presumes he does have a real right hand, not an imaginary right hand. If you suggest that he has an 'imaginary' right hand, then you could 'imagine' any number of fingers on that hand. In that case, the answer could be six, or three or twelve fingers.

    The bottom line is that I have provided a very reasonable scenario in which your yes or no question might have some other answer.

    Aah, very good point, I overlooked that. I guess that proves why sometimes you cannot do what I suggested. I made a mistake. You got me.

    However, you still claim that every poll must have "other."

    Ok so now that I realize I made a mistake, let's say the question were different. What if the question were:

    Do you have a right hand?

    Also, what about my object being yellow question?
    Last edited by Cilogy; 04-06-09 at 09:21 PM.


  4. #24
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Okay, let's go through this step by step.

    The question you posed is 'Does your right hand have five fingers?'

    You claimed there are 'only two' possible responses to this question.

    You claimed there are no other responses that make sense.

    What you failed to consider is that not everyone has a right hand.

    The man in the picture cannot reasonably answer your question 'yes' or 'no'.

    You might argue that since he has no right hand, he must answer 'no', since he does not have five fingers on his non-existent right hand. However, your question presumes he does have a real right hand, not an imaginary right hand. If you suggest that he has an 'imaginary' right hand, then you could 'imagine' any number of fingers on that hand. In that case, the answer could be six, or three or twelve fingers.

    The bottom line is that I have provided a very reasonable scenario in which your yes or no question might have some other answer.

    a man without a right hand shouldn't be voting on that poll.

  5. #25
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    Aah, very good point, I overlooked that. I guess that proves why sometimes you cannot do what I suggested. I made a mistake. You got me.

    However, you still claim that every poll must have "other."

    Ok so now that I realize I made a mistake, let's say the question were different. What if the question were:

    Do you have a right hand?

    Also, what about my object being yellow question?
    You should always have an "other" option because someone may have something innovative to say that you didn't think of.

  6. #26
    Educator Grateful Heart's Avatar
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    However, you still claim that every poll must have "other."
    I've never made such a claim. Some other poster may have... but not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilogy View Post
    Ok so now that I realize I made a mistake, let's say the question were different. What if the question were:

    Do you have a right hand?

    Also, what about my object being yellow question?
    If you're going to insist on a choice between two options, you need to make very clear that there are ONLY two options.

    'Do you have a right hand?' is a fairly open ended question. There may be people who have a partial stump or deformed appendage that may or may not be considered a hand. The color of an object is also a fairly open ended question.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm not even sure what your goal in this thread is. I understand several people criticized a poll you put up recently. You'll rarely create a poll that isn't criticized by someone.


  7. #27
    Educator Grateful Heart's Avatar
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by emdash View Post
    a man without a right hand shouldn't be voting on that poll.
    If a poll is going to include or exclude certain groups, then those groups should be identified up front.

    For instance, if you were conducting a poll to determine how often Catholics go to Mass, you'd preface it with a (For Catholics Only). If you simply asked an open question 'How often to you go to Mass?', then the poll would be biased by responses from different denominations.

    Similarly, if you were to create a poll to determine how many men on the board are circumcised, you'd want to exclude the women. If you simply put up a poll asking 'Are you circumcised?', then women could within reason answer 'no.'

    None of this is particularly relevant on silly message board polls. But these kinds of questions need to be considered very carefully when doing research. Sloppy questions lead to sloppy results and misleading conclusions.


  8. #28
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Ok this is just going nowhere.

    Nevermind.


  9. #29
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    If a poll is going to include or exclude certain groups, then those groups should be identified up front.

    For instance, if you were conducting a poll to determine how often Catholics go to Mass, you'd preface it with a (For Catholics Only). If you simply asked an open question 'How often to you go to Mass?', then the poll would be biased by responses from different denominations.

    Similarly, if you were to create a poll to determine how many men on the board are circumcised, you'd want to exclude the women. If you simply put up a poll asking 'Are you circumcised?', then women could within reason answer 'no.'

    None of this is particularly relevant on silly message board polls. But these kinds of questions need to be considered very carefully when doing research. Sloppy questions lead to sloppy results and misleading conclusions.

    if the poll obviously doesn't apply to you, don't take it. what's with people these days that they have to force themselves where they obviously don't belong and then complain that they're being discriminated against?

  10. #30
    Educator Grateful Heart's Avatar
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    Re: A Poll About Polls

    Quote Originally Posted by emdash View Post
    if the poll obviously doesn't apply to you, don't take it. what's with people these days that they have to force themselves where they obviously don't belong and then complain that they're being discriminated against?
    I think you're taking this a bit too seriously. I tossed out a couple of hypothetical examples because the OP was using hypothetical polls that he thought could have only two answers. He was incorrect.

    In scientific polling, it's up to the pollster, not the individual person being polled, to ensure that they are part of the proper 'demographic' for the survey. We also assume that the respondent is answering honestly. For instance, a political pollster may be looking for 'likely voters' or 'registered voters' and asks questions up front to weed out those who don't qualify.

    None of this has anything to do with silly message board polls which are completely unscientific and only put here to generate debate. I would suggest, however, that if someone plans on posting a poll on a public message board, they should anticipate that ALL readers will want to participate. It's not as if we have that many participants around here anyway... it seems we'd want to be encouraging activity, not inventing ways to discourage it.

    In any event, there are plenty of polls around here I've ignored. Not because they don't apply to me. But because I'm simply not interested in them

    Last edited by Grateful Heart; 04-07-09 at 12:33 PM.

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