The Holiday season is officially here, and the Spectator Newsletter conducted another poll in celebration of Halloween last week.
Candy is a staple when it comes to Halloween, so the editors came together and narrowed down a selection of what we think is the most popular candy. We let you decide what was truly the best out of a selection of five; Candy Corn, Reese’s, Skittles, Twix, and Kit Kat.
Shockingly, Skittles came in last place at 3 votes followed by Candy Corn at 12 votes. Kit Kat received 11 votes, with a tie between Twix and Reese’s at 14 votes each.
The results are clear it’s difficult to choose a particular favorite, but Halloween allowed for a time to enjoy some treats.
Let us know what candy you had for Halloween. What other candy do you think should’ve been included in the poll?
If you’d like to be involved in the next poll, look for the Spectator Newsletter that comes out every week. Do you have any suggestions for what topic the next poll should cover? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Story by Isabella Schneider, Newsletter Editor. Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Hello VSU Spectator.
I am not satisfied with the quality of this poll. While self-selection bias may be unavoidable, there are several shortcomings in design that completely discredit the validity of the results. I will also be providing alternative designs that you may use in the future.
First, there is the issue of sample size. For a student population of over twelve thousand students, a mere 54 participants (about 0.44%) is not enough to get a statistically significant representation of the student body’s most preferred candy. You could fix this issue by incentivizing participation, such as providing some kind of food item and marketing the poll outside of emails and the Spectator site, such as having a table outside of the Student Union.
Secondly, the significance of the options in the poll is egregious, to say the least. In the article, it says “the editors came together and narrowed down a selection of what we think is the most popular candy” and this is hardly a valid or significant way of choosing the options for the poll. If you were to create a poll that only encompasses 5 options (we’ll get to the issues with that later), you would first need to conduct a qualitative study that identified common themes and candy preferences before choosing the 5 options. Had you done this, I am sure we would have seen different and more significant options within the poll, such as Swedish Fish.
Thirdly, the choice to poll about specific brands of candy, rather than categories of candy (soft chocolate, chocolate nutty, chocolate cracker, fruity chewy, fruity hard, sour, etc.) is questionable. Granted, by choosing to poll about categories of candy, there is a different problem introduced: vagueness. Discussing categories of candy has a larger chance of the results being vague, such as the vague but delicious cherry flavor of Swedish Fish. However, this problem could be fixed by having a second question in the poll that does include the specific brands of candy that fall under the chosen category. The second question could also be a single fill-in box where the participant can type out what candy they have in mind, which could be more specifically categorized by the researcher if they choose to continue with looking for the most favored brand or type of candy. Having 5 narrow options severely limits the choices of the participant, who may like other kinds of candy, like Swedish Fish. This kind of narrowness will leave you destined to have invalid and skewed results.
In conclusion, there are many issues with the design and options of your poll, and if you want accurate results about what candy is preferred among the student body, the solutions and designs previously mentioned would serve that purpose. I think you may find that another candy, such as Swedish Fish, may take the top position. Even in the off-chance that it is not the top choice, the results would be significant and valid. The current poll is not an accurate representation of the student body’s preferred candy. Misleading statistics and misleading journalism have been shown to cause harm to society since we base a part of our policies and worldview upon them. With that said, it would be irresponsible to make these mistakes in the future, next time you do a poll about preferred candy.
I understand what you are saying. Swedish Fish has been underappreciated everywhere, and we, as the Spectator, have no excuse to partake in this underappreciation. We would like to ask you what are some ways that The Spectator can make this better to showcase Swedish Fish. I am also a fan of Swedish Fish and feel like we could have better showcase for the Swedish Fish lovers.
The web editor, Camille, also loves Swedish Fish and can see where you come from. We can make a new poll or write an article about how Swedish Fish lovers are being under represented and how it should no longer be since it is the superior candy. Also, we encourage you to write a letter to the editor about how you believe it is the superior candy. Doing so can help our case that it is the best.
Thank you for the comment.
Campus Life Editor
Dear Kilie Huckleby,
I have submitted a letter to the editor, please let me know if there is anything else I need to do to ensure that the information in that letter reaches the eyes of the spectator’s readers. Thank you for your solidarity. I will remember this.