How would one estimate the accuracy of self-reports of self-defense? I know in medical research you can assess the validity of self-reported health by doing follow up medical exams or seeing if the respondent dies or becomes seriously ill shortly after the survey.
Is self-defense just one of those issues where we'll never have decent data? Fabio On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, William Dickens wrote: > Which is highly suspect. It is computed by projecting the fraction of > people in a relatively small sample who say they used firearms > defensively to the whole population. Anyone who has ever worked with > survey data knows that error rates of a couple of percent (at least) > on all sorts of questions are common. Both coding errors and reporting > errors substantially increase (in percentage terms) the fraction of > respondents giving positive responses to questions with very low > fractions of positive responses. Think also about how people treat > surveys (for example the number of people who say they have been > abducted by aliens). I would bet any money that the true fraction of > people who use firearms in self-defense (brandishment or otherwise) is > a whole heck of a lot lower (an order of magnitude or more) than what > is suggested by Kleck's survey. - - Bill Dickens > William T. Dickens