Methodological Research

What are the best ways to capture data? How can mobile devices like tablet computers and smartphones be used most effectively? What can be done to increase response rates? Do respondent incentives work? How can we use data about the data collection process to make surveys more efficient? Can these data be harnessed to improve or supplant surveys? Our methodologists grapple with the ongoing challenges of the survey environment to find┬ásolutions.

Project Highlights

Finding measures of effective teaching

In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new project to find ways to fairly and effectively evaluate teachers and identify what effective teaching is. The Measures...

Improving national sexual assault statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has hired Westat to test different methods for collecting self-reports of sexual assault, a crime that has proved difficult to measure in surveys...

Pragmatic trials: What works in the real world?

Traditional clinical trials have helped scientists find effective treatments and patient care practices. However, the results of clinical trials often apply to only a small group of people because...

Using mobile devices for surveys

The National Science Foundation has provided a grant to Westat to examine 3 issues related to conducting surveys using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Can study respondents...

Why does America vote as it does?

How do Americans really think and feel about topics like politics, health, work, school, retirement, and other subjects? The American National Election Studies (ANES) explored these issues as part...