Hopefully, multiple exposures will increase the positive response rate for that item.
If some members of the board are absent, I will gladly redistribute the extra surveys to whoever is there. The surveys are sufficiently brief it is unlikely any survey will be returned uncompleted.
For items requiring a check mark, analysis will require a simple tally...25 subjects checked ladyfingers, 10 checked pizza rolls, only one checked vegetarian hors' doeuvres, and so forth. For the part requiring subjects to rank six items in order of importance, I can get meaningful results by summing the scores for each item across subjects. Since sample size is limited to thirty observations, I feel comfortable with the write in question about price range; it is unlikely that there will be much variance in responses given the sample size and sample demographics. Further, giving subjects an opportunity to offer their own suggestions for price gives more descriptive feedback than giving them a "circle-one" list. If they see $5 as part of a "circle-one" list, then they may infer that $5 is a reasonable price and immediately circle that when they would otherwise have responded with a higher figure in response to a write-in question. A circle-one question about pricing would have been implicitly leading, which should be avoided in any event but certainly so when it might have a negative impact on revenue.
The survey design has been sufficiently described above by way of explaining other aspects of the research that I can forego repeating the description here. The survey itself is attached as an appendix.
Part V - Pilot Study
In preparation for the actual survey's distribution to the PTA board, I conducted a pilot study and distributed the survey to ten strangers in a local grocery store (with the manager's permission). Subjects received the survey attached to a clip board and were provided with pencils for scoring. The most surprising thing was that 8 out of 10 people surveyed wrote-in some version of "chips & salsa" as an appetizer. This is an item I would have included in the appetizer list as a choice had it occurred to me. Fortunately, other people have good ideas as well.
A learned that in spite of the local population consisting mostly of "white" Caucasian or Asian people, Mexican food was selected 50% of the time. It is clearly unwise to make culinary assumptions based on someone's ethnicity.
All 10 subjects ranked "Nutritional Value" highest, but I cannot be certain whether they did this because it really impresses them as the most important or because it occurred first in the list. So the survey as the PTA board will see it will have Nutritional Value positioned as number 5 in the list. Since the write-in blanks have proven so valuable, I intend to keep them, though I will add "Chips and Queso/Salsa" as a choice for the Appetizer section of the survey.
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