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Title: On Making Inferences from Non-Probability Samples

  • Speaker: J. Michael Brick, Westat and JPSM
  • Chair: Nancy Bates, WSS President
  • Dates/Time: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 2:00-4:00
    The talk is from 2:00-3:30 followed by light refreshments.
    Note: video conferencing will not be available.
  • Location: Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center, Room 3
    To be placed on theseminar attendance list at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, e-mail your name, affiliation, and seminar name to wss_seminar@bls.gov (underscore after 'wss') by noon at least 2 days in advance of the seminar, or call (202) 691-7524 and leave a message. Bring a photo ID to the seminar. BLS is located at 2 Massachusetts avenue, NE. Use the Red Line to Union Station.
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In the last decade with the wide spread use of the Internet, surveys of all kinds have been conducted that try to reduce the ever increasing costs of doing high quality probability sample surveys. In a reaction to this trend, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) set up a task force to examine the conditions under which survey designs that do not use probability samples might still be useful for making inferences to a larger population. Reg Baker and I co-chaired that task force and its final report is available on the AAPOR website (www.aapor.org). A summary, along with commentary of other researchers, was published in The Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology.

In this talk, I will begin by reviewing the findings of the task force and some reaction to these findings. I will then suggest potential implications this line of research might have on surveys conducted for government agencies. Hopefully, a lively discussion of the topic will follow.


Mike Brick is a Vice President and co-Director of the Survey Methods Unit at Westat, and is a research professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. He has a Ph.D. in statistics from American University, is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. Mike was President of the Washington Statistical Society in 2010.