At the end of each of our American Trends Panel surveys, we invite respondents to submit any comments they may have. We often get feedback, and researchers review every response. Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions we receive. (Vea esta página en español aquí.)

What if none of the answer choices reflect my opinion? Why isn’t there a neutral or “don’t know” answer choice? 

We hope that this is a rare situation for you. A lot of work goes into making sure that our questions and answer choices are inclusive of all people in our country. If you do find yourself in a position where no answer truly applies, or where you are otherwise uncomfortable answering, you can skip any question by leaving the question blank and then selecting the “Next” button to go to the next question.

We occasionally offer a “don’t know” response when we ask about factual knowledge for a certain topic where we expect it would be natural for people not to know an answer. When it comes to questions about your attitudes or beliefs, those are the types of questions where we really want to know what you think. Sometimes, we will present only two choices and ask which comes closest to your view, even if neither is exactly right. We understand that you may not feel especially strongly one way or another in situations like that, and in that case, whichever response comes closest to what you think or how you feel is all we need. 

Why do some of the questions appear biased in favor of a particular group?

Pew Research Center is an independent research organization that does not advocate or take sides on any issue or policy. Our main interest is learning how people in our country think and feel about things happening around the U.S. and in their communities. We do not have a preference for how people answer our questions. Your honest and thoughtful input is our main concern, no matter what your views or opinions may be. We try very hard to write questions that are not leading or slanted toward any person or group. There is an incredible amount of effort that goes into writing neutral and balanced questions. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we may fall short in that area and we always appreciate comments at the end of the survey letting us know. We cannot always reply to or take action for every comment, but rest assured we read them all.  

Why don’t you have a progress bar to show how much time is left in the survey?

Progress bars are not always an accurate picture of how much time is left in a survey. It is possible that answering questions one way could give you different questions based on that answer. This could mean that it takes even less time to complete the survey. It could be confusing to have a progress bar jump from, say, 40% remaining to 20% remaining by answering just one question. Instead, we have a limit on the number of questions that we ask, and that limit is based on years’ worth of conducting surveys. Our surveys usually take between 8 and 15 minutes to complete, and we do our best to stick to that. 

Why haven’t I received my payment for the last survey I answered?

It is very important to us that you are promptly paid for your time and opinions. If you receive a check for your payment, those can take three to four weeks to arrive. That means it is possible you will be invited to take another survey before the last payment makes it to your mailbox. (But don’t worry, we have not forgotten about you!) If you would like to receive your payment faster, you can select to receive an electronic Amazon gift code instead of getting a check in the mail. The Amazon codes are emailed automatically shortly after completing each survey. You can email the panel support team at info@americantrendspanel.org if you would like to change how you receive your payment or if it has been longer than three or four weeks and your mailed check has still not arrived. 

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