Keynote: Taking Stock Of The Field Of Survey Research

Keynote Address: David Dutwin

Never before has the field of survey research held so much uncertainty and opportunity. Questions about the reliability and validity of survey estimates abound in an age where single digit response rates are not uncommon. The recent presidential election results have also fueled questions about whether the accuracy of survey estimates has degraded over time. The range of sampling and operational approaches available to survey researchers is at an all-time high, including probability-based sampling by area enumeration, telephone (single and dual frame), address lists, as well as non-probabilistic sampling by empanelment and river-based methods.

So, where are we? Is survey research still reliable? What is the future of telephone research? How do the different approaches compare in terms of data quality and cost? What will survey research look like in 5 years? 10 years?

David Dutwin, PhD, is Executive Vice President and Chief Methodologist for SSRS, a full-service research firm based outside of Philadelphia, PA, and a Senior Fellow at the Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Data for this presentation come from his recent research on data quality in contemporary survey research, culminating in a major paper in the upcoming 2017 Special Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly on the Future of Survey Research, and in papers still under review in other peer-reviewed journals, as well as his work for the AAPOR Task Force on the Future of Telephone Surveys, summarized in a recent article in Survey Practice. The presentation also draws from a range of research presented over the past two years in publications and conferences, as well as a wealth of analysis of data available in the public domain.


  • Thursday, March 30th
  • 3:30-5:15: Student Paper Presentation (5th floor)
  • 5:15-6:00: Networking reception and networking event for students and early career professionals (2nd floor lobby atrium)
  • 6:00-7:00: Plenary Speaker David Dutwin (5th floor)


  • University of Pennsylvania,
  • Annenberg School of Communication
  • 3620 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA