Comparability of Special Survey Technique Findings

  • Henry B. M. Murphy
Part of the Monographien aus dem Gesamtgebiete der Psychiatrie book series (PSYCHIATRIE, volume 28)


Given the frequent occasions on which official sources of data do not provide the means of making the comparisons one wishes, it is natural to think of collecting one’s own data or at least of drawing on those from other field studies. Making use of such supplementary data greatly widens the range of comparisons possible, but it is not a panacea. Each research method tends to be good for answering particular questions and poor for answering others. In consequence, one needs to know each method’s capabilities, and needs to avoid depending completely on results which derive from some special study if that study has not used a technique fully appropriate to the questions which one seeks to answer. Most special study methods provide greater detail and more careful classification than one gets in official sources, but on the other hand they usually cover much smaller numbers of subjects, thus raising questions regarding their representativity and the range of chance variation which they may conceal.


Response Style Symptom Checklist Mental Health Survey Official Source Mental Health Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry B. M. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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