Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Survey Respondents
1. Why am I getting calls from 1-603-397-0635?
You or your household have been selected to participate in a survey being conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Each year, the Survey Center conducts dozens of public opinion polls and surveys covering a wide range of topics. 1-603-397-0635 is the phone number of our call center. If you wish to participate in the survey, you can simply wait for another call from our call center or call the toll free number, 800-786-9760, to set up an appointment for an interview.
2. How did you get my phone number?
For most surveys, the sample is selected by a process called Random Digit Dialing (RDD), in which a set of landline and cell phone numbers are randomly generated by a computer. The phone numbers are first called to verify if they are residential or business phone numbers. If residential, a randomly selected adult from all the adults in the household is asked to participate in the survey. In certain circumstances consumer lists may also be used.
3. I'm on the "Do Not Call" list; why am I still getting calls?
The "Do Not Call" List applies to companies trying to market products to consumers. We are calling for public opinion surveys and are not marketing any products.
4. Why do you keep calling me after I told you I don't want to participate?
Initial refusals are called again to verify that you do not want to participate in our survey. Sometimes people refuse because our initial attempt occurs at an inconvenient time. Other times we do not get the opportunity to talk to the randomly selected respondent. It is important to verify that the randomly selected adult does not want to participate.
5. How can I know I am being asked to participate in a legitimate survey?
The University of New Hampshire Survey Center has been conducting surveys since 1976. Our interviewers will state that they are calling on the behalf of the University of New Hampshire. All interviewers have been trained according to the protocols specified by the UNH Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects. The Director's name (Dr. Andrew Smith) and number (603-862-2226) are provided if potential participants are hesitant when they receive a phone call. Additionally, if you provide Dr. Smith with your phone number he can verify that you are part of our sample.
6. Do I have to participate in the survey?
Survey participation is voluntary. Participation by those randomly selected for the survey is very important to accurately represent the survey population. However, we cannot select anyone else in your household to replace you if you were selected and do not participate, which may mean that adults like you are underrepresented in the results. By participating, you perform a valuable public service for your family, community, and state.
7. Can I call you to do the survey at my convenience?
Yes. Our call center has a toll free number, 800-786-9760, that you can call anytime during calling hours. Calling hours on weekdays are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. (EST).
8. Will you be collecting any personal information?
We will not collect any personal information that may identify you (e.g., last name, address, birthday, etc.). Question topics range from politics to healthcare to public opinion issues facing the state or country. At the end of the survey there are questions that ask about demographic information (e.g., age, education, town, etc.). You can always skip any question that you think is too personal or state that you have no opinion on it.
9. Will my information be released publicly?
Absolutely not! There is no personally-identifiable information associated with each respondent's answers. A fundamental principle of our surveys is protecting the confidentiality of the respondent's answers. Answers to questions are aggregated which means that no one individual's data can be traced back to a particular person. Even the telephone number called is not included in the dataset so that answers cannot be connected to a specific person or telephone number.
10. What do you do with the answers/results/data?
Answers from this survey are used to better understand the topics and issues researched. The results of some studies, most notably the Granite State Poll, a quarterly statewide survey, are made available to the public on the Survey Center website.
11. Another adult in my household was selected for the survey but does not want to participate; can I answer the survey for them?
No. We have to talk to the randomly selected adult in order to do the interview. "Proxy" interviews are not allowed because you may not have the same opinion as the randomly selected adult.
12. How long will the survey take to complete?
Surveys generally can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes to complete, but can run a little shorter or longer depending on the number of questions asked and how long you take to answer each question. If the survey gets too long to complete at one time, you can always schedule a call back at a convenient time for you.