Academic survey - genuine, I promise :)

This is really me, not a spam bot: in ‘real life’ I run a neuro lab, and one of my previous students in psychology is doing some work on the concept of video game addiction. If you’re so inclined, it would make her happy were you to take a few minutes and fill out a survey:[li]

I’ll be happy to offer an in-game social action of your choice as a note of thanks; just let me know, honor system.


I answered the survey! Don’t want anything in return. Just wish to help someone out in their need to fill out surveys. One student to another and all.[li]

Filling in survey (no social reciprocation required, thanks). I feel I should point out that the form at 44% is misleading - the first section the columns go from false to true, the second section is in the reverse. I imagine that some respondents will not notice this, which may cause the results to become muddled.

Having minor problems understanding the questions, but I think I’ve got it about right.

Survey completed: no need of social action, only doing it to help ( I am a scientist too :) ). But I agree completely with RandomWalker: there are some details in the survey that coud be improved, especially that reversed part.[li]

I’m probably being an idiot - but the ‘video’ throws me. Is FL a video game or ‘just’ a game?

That was my question exactly, which is why I did not proceed. It seems to me she should have started with a definition of the concept; otherwise, the responses she receives will not be of much utility to her.


That was my question exactly, which is why I did not proceed. It seems to me she should have started with a definition of the concept; otherwise, the responses she receives will not be of much utility to her.

I’ll go back and finish the survey once I know the answer. It will impact my results significantly (playing daily vs playing monthly).[/li][li]

Excellent Qs. By her definition - I checked - FL is a video game; she’s especially interested in the kind of game that involves character development. And I’ve pointed her at this feedback; thanks, folks.

'K, I’m filling in. Wonder if I define ‘friend’ differently to normal humans - in that a person wouldn’t be a friend were some of the answers not a given. :-S
Also, tenses in the last one made me wonder whether there was a bit of the question missing. E.g. &quotI feel I was close to panic.&quot When? Just ‘at times’? Or is this supposed to apply back to gaming - e.g. ‘at a time when I couldn’t game and wanted to’. I read and answered it as: ‘I sometimes feel close to panic for no particular reason’.
Not trying to be picky, trying to be useful. :-S

Taken as such.

[One of my normal reactions when asked to complete surveys is to critique the survey design; I didn’t get the chance to do so on this one - the student in question only came to me for advice on how to present her work thus far at a conference, not before gathering data - but the feedback will be very helpful to her. I will say that I think most of the wording is taken almost-directly from either DSM-V or other previously-used measures, which may explain some stuff?]

I’ve answered the survey (those questions I understood well enough to answer, that is).
No need for any social action in return. Just trying to help.

I agree with all the other improvement comments made here by others.

While answering, I took the liberty to write down a few comments and potential problems I’ve experienced with the survey.
I apologize in advance for the length of this. I’m fairly pedantic when proof reading. Please don’t take this as negative criticism, but as honest feedback that might help improve the survey.

I’ll try to put my comments below in spoiler tags, just so that this post isn’t huge and people can collapse it.

[spoiler]First, in general, I believe that the Fallen London gaming experience is vastly different than other games that this survey intends. FL is a game of short bursts throughout the day (minutes at a time) - for most other games you set a chunk of continuous time to play (an hour, 2, 4, whatever). This might make the results of the survey inconsistent.

Another general point: I believe it would have been better for the questions’ numbering to be continuous, and not restart from 1 for every page. Below, I’m marking my comments based on the page &quotpercentage number&quot.

Page 22%
Q2: &quotDo you identify yourself as a gamer?&quot &quotIf no, then please specify&quot.
Specify what, exactly? What I identify myself as in my life instead of &quota gamer&quot? Seems really weird.

Page 33%
Q1: &quotDo you enjoy playing MMO games, or games in multiplayer or co-op mode?&quot
Only Yes and No are offered, which won’t be helpful for everyone. I’ve never liked any MMO, and I like just a little bit very specific multi-player games (but not others). And Fallen London is the exception to the rule, but it’s really not multi-player in the sense of other multi-player games I feel this survey is more about.

Q3 and Q4 are redundant if you answer &quotNo&quot to Q2.

Q4: Two options make no sense:

  • &quotwe are not friends&quot is not a normal answer to a question which asks about your relationship with &quota friend you have made&quot
  • &quotNot Applicable&quot is weird here, since this question allows multiple selection (i.e. not mutually exclusive answers. I’d think that &quotNot Applicable&quot is the equivalent of not selecting any of the offered answers.

Q5: Why are the possible answers in a single line with the question? All other mutually exclusive multiple choice questions on this page (e.g. Q3 above) had all answers line by line.

Page 44%
Q1 and Q2

  • As others have stated, the answer columns should either go from False to True or alternatively from True to false consistently for both questions on this page.
  • &quotNot Applicable&quot shouldn’t be the last statement for each question - it makes no sense to assign any of the possible answers to this statement (e.g. &quotNot Applicable&quot with a value of &quotPossibly True&quot? What does this mean?). And how do you answer any of Q2, for example, if you haven’t made friends through a game?

Page 67%
Q4: Not sure what is meant by &quotif the means were available to you&quot.

Page 78%
Q1: Statements 1 and 3 make no sense to me in the context of whether they are true or not for my relationship with my friends. These statements seem generally about my life, not about such a relationship.

Q2: Again, irrelevant if there are no friends made through a game, but no way to mark the entire question as not applicable.

Minor nitpick for this page:
In Q1, the answers are all capitalized (&quotAlways True&quot, etc.).
In Q2, only the first word is capitalized (&quotAlways true&quot, etc.)

Page 89%
Q2: Weird phrasing, asking explicitly to be &quotopen and honest in your responding&quot. As opposed to all other questions until now in the survey? :-) There’s nothing specifically sensitive about this particular question relative to all the rest.

Page 100%

  • &quotI am aware of dryness of my mouth&quot - no idea if this is about how often my mouth is dry or about how aware I am of this if and when it happens.
  • &quotI experience breathing difficulty&quot - confusing phrasing. Better to have either &quotI experience breathing-difficulty&quot (with a hyphen), or &quotI experience difficulty breathing&quot. Also, there is a missing space in the parenthesis, after the comma).
  • &quotI experience trembling (eg, in the hands)&quot - I believe that &quoteg,&quot should be &quote.g.&quot (but I’m not a native English speaker, so I don’t know if &quoteg&quot is formally correct).
  • &quotI feel that I was using a lot of nervous energy&quot - no idea what this means
  • &quotI am worried about situations in which I might panic and makea fool of myself&quot - type: missing space between &quotmake&quot and &quota&quot.
  • &quotI feel down-hearted and blue&quot - really weird phrasing
  • &quotI am aware of the action of my heart in the absence of physicalexertion&quot - typo: missing space between &quotphysical&quot and &quotexertion&quot. Also, again &quoteg,&quot should be &quote.g.&quot Also, as in the first statement in this question, is this about my heartbeat, or about my awareness of it?[/spoiler]

That’s it.
Told you it was long :-)

Even though I do play other games, FL is more of a procrastination game for me. Maybe a more active-play sort of game community would give more appropriate responses?

“Do you enjoy playing MMO games, or games in multiplayer or co-op mode?”

These are two very different things.

&quotWhen you spend time playing video games, how many hours do you play?&quot Is this referring to a single session, or in total throughout a day?

And I will agree that browser/social network games like FL are very different animals from &quotother&quot games and may lead to confusion if lumped together. There should probably be a clearer definition of &quotgame&quot. For instance, if FL counts as a game, then I play video games almost every day, but by the standards of more traditional console or computer games, I only play intermittently.[li]

Edit: I’m further in and the questions are getting quite confusing. &quotI was close to panic&quot? When? Before playing a video game? At what point in my life, recently or at all?

The survey also doesn’t account for fluctuating life events or intermittent playstles, I think. I tend to play story-based games, so when I get one I’m interesting in I tend to play through it quite quickly in large bursts, then I after I’m done I just don’t play video games until something else of interest comes to my attention. So, if I was asked the question &quotDuring the past week how much time have you spent thinking about playing video games or about how good playing video games would make you feel?&quot while I was in the middle of the game, I probably would have given a higher-level answer than I would currently, which is &quotnone at all&quot. (Unless FL counts, in which case ~20-40 minutes is probably right?)
edited by Little The on 5/4/2014