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honesty is the best policy
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answering questions
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Honest Vs Dishonest Survey Takers
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Honest Vs Dishonest Survey Takers

There are many people around the world that take surveys. They're a retiree, they're a college student, they're you reading this article. There are plenty of honest survey takers around the world, we are not all created equal however. There are many people who try to cheat, it's just part of life. This article will hopefully enlighten you on the differences between an honest survey taker, and those who try to cheat the system. It will also explore the disadvantages of trying to subvert a system designed for honest, thoughtful opinions.

Honesty is the best policy (At least that's what women keep telling me)

Being an honest survey taker means different things. Being an honest survey taker means answering questions honestly, it means pondering before answering, it means taking the time to reflect before answering a specific question. Obviously stuff like age, gender, nationality, etc. can be done quickly if you're a fast and efficient survey taker. It's the hard questions that separate the good survey taker from the not so good. Giving at least one sentence to the question "How does this thing in this survey make you feel?" is better than one word answers specially if they then ask you why you feel that way.

A dishonest survey taker will change his age, gender, and origin in every single survey. This lets you know the person is in a hurry to get the survey done instead of giving his/her opinion (which is the point of the survey to begin with). A dishonest survey taker clicks away until he/she gets to the end of the survey. Some people are legitimately fast readers and can finish surveys efficiently, but when a survey should take 10 minutes and you finish it in 30 seconds, there's definitely something going on.

The consequences of your actions

Being an honest survey taker yields great rewards. Some surveys like your opinion so much that they may sometimes invite you for a similar one later on. Your opinions do matter, and the next time you see a new bottle design on the next Coca-Cola bottle, you'll know you had a big part in it because you gave feedback. Honest answers can also lead to products given to you to test out.

The same can't be said for dishonest survey takers. Many sites have taken intelligent counter-measures to ensure they only get honest opinions. Some surveys ask you specific questions multiple times to see if the answer is consistent. If a survey asks your age 2 or 3 times throughout the survey they're testing to see the validity and consistency of your answers. Answering the same question 3 different ways clues the survey makers into whats going on.

This trickles into survey layout. Survey makers have been making surveys surprisingly awkward to finish due to dishonest survey takers' tactics. One persons maliciousness now affects the whole spectrum. It's analogous to how piracy and used game sales have forced the video game industry to find other ways to get profit (DLC, store specific special items, on-disk DLC, etc.)

The next consequence is one I've experienced because I was not paying enough attention. Yes, I'm guilty of multi-tasking and it came back to bite me. The dreaded Quality Control question.

The ultimate slap in the face (I challenge you to a duel, sir!)

Quality control is a subtle yet powerful tool that survey sites use to make sure you're being a good little surve taker and following the rules.

These Quality Control questions are often times put in the middle of surveys to make sure you're answering questions honestly. It can be very subtle like "For quality control purposes, select 'I Agree' for this row." If you're a fast reader or accidentally skip a question, you might bet booted out of the survey immediately. Some Quality control questions have a page of their own that have something along the lines of "Select number 6 for quality control purposes." These questions are to make sure people are concentrating on the survey, but more importantly it's to make sure no one is using bots to auto-answer any questions. If you fail enough of these questions you may be booted off the panel indefinitely.

Trying to cheat the system is not only bad for you, but it's bad for everyone. It affects every survey taker. Being an honest survey taker has so many benefits that I do not see the need to try to cheat the system when the consequences are extremely severe. You have a wide range of legitimate survey sites to choose from if you're an honest survey taker. The more you cheat the system, the more sites are closed off to you because you didn't follow simple, structured rules.


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