End Thoughts 1: Questionnaires.

This Sunday morning I’m going to give my feedback on the Stoic Week and yesterday’s Stoicism conference. To give myself the time to do that, I won’t comment on today’s meditations and exercises.

The first thing I’ve learned from participating in Stoic Week is that I should not fill in any more psychometric questionnaires.  Those set for registration in SW are the third research project in which  I’ve participated, in the last seven years or so, and each time I’ve had a to and fro’ with the researcher about the wording.  At this rate, by the time I die,  I will have irritated a social science researcher at half of Britain’s universities.

Each time it has been a pointless discussion. A pig-headed retired lawyer with no academic standing is not going to persuade a social scientist to modify research tools which are standard in his discipline. S/he, on the other hand, is not going to persuade me that, e.g “Do you slightly agree that you suffer from chronic joint pain”, isn’t a silly question which will produce a silly answer.

Donald Robertson has put my objections “in context” by pointing out that over 1,000 people have filled in the questionnaires, and I’m the only one who has raised objections.  To put his comment in context, he doesn’t know, and has no way of knowing, how many thousands of people have not participated because they think the questions are daft.

So, from now on I’m going to join the silent majority and avoid participation in social science research.

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