Searching for Americans to do an online questionnaire!

Dear Participants,
Thank you for your participating in this survey. The information you provide will be used only for study purposes. All information provided will be kept confidential. Thank you very much! Best Regards!

Here is the website.
http://www.my3q.com/home2/246/sweet0601/52553.phtml
All you need to do is to click some options.I really appreciate your help.
Thank you very much!!

P.S.
I am a graduate student in Taiwan. The questionnaire is for my thesis study.
The purpose of it is to compare perceptions of compliments between American culture and Chinese culture.
There are total 12 situations. Welcome any comments!! Thank you very much!! :slight_smile:

[quote=“jill19821122”]Dear Participants,
Thank you for your participating in this survey. The information you provide will be used only for study purposes. All information provided will be kept confidential. Thank you very much! Best Regards!

Here is the website.
http://www.my3q.com/home2/246/sweet0601/52553.phtml
All you need to do is to click some options.I really appreciate your help.
Thank you very much!![/quote]

I stopped when I realized the first question had me sitting in a bar with a necklace on.

Question 4: What if you’re no longer in school?

Or do you mean “Graduate[color=#FF0000]d[/color]”?

Question 7: What if the person filling out the survey is a man?

Question 10: A convenient store? Or do you mean a “convenien[color=#FF0000]ce[/color] store”?

Question 28: “wish”, not “hope”

On each page, you should have some indication of how many questions there are altogether.

After finishing it (42 questions), I found that all of the scenarios are pretty much equally polite and acceptable. I can’t determine what would make any differences, or why any would be unacceptable. Oh, except for the first question, because a man might feel it’s inappropriate being complimented for wearing a “pretty necklace”.

Also, the “submit” button is in Chinese.

And the English needs some cleaning up. And the compliments are not very idiomatic.

It’s riddled with bad English. I mean, come on! “How likely will you accept this compliment?” Very likely? Do you even know what that means? I don’t.

But never mind the poor English - that’s the stupidest questionnaire I’ve seen in a long time. The scenarios are all almost identical, and very contrived. Once I saw the first few pages, I couldn’t be bothered. I came back here to tell others not to waste their time.

Oh, and what does this have to do with Teaching English in Taiwan? :loco:

Hitting a little too close to home for you? :laughing:

[quote=“Maoman”]It’s riddled with bad English. I mean, come on! “How likely will you accept this compliment?” Very likely? Do you even know what that means? I don’t.

But never mind the poor English - that’s the stupidest questionnaire I’ve seen in a long time. The scenarios are all almost identical, and very contrived. Once I saw the first few pages, I couldn’t be bothered. I came back here to tell others not to waste their time.[/quote]

It almost sounded like a survey of someone that keeps getting turned down in a bar. Said person then made a survey to find out what questions he should use to chat up women.

Said person then got torn apart online.

[quote]

Hitting a little too close to home for you? :laughing:[/quote]

I thought my cover was blown.

[quote=“Maoman”]It’s riddled with bad English. I mean, come on! “How likely will you accept this compliment?” Very likely? Do you even know what that means? I don’t.

But never mind the poor English - that’s the stupidest questionnaire I’ve seen in a long time. The scenarios are all almost identical, and very contrived. Once I saw the first few pages, I couldn’t be bothered. I came back here to tell others not to waste their time.[/quote]

You’re not even supposed to be taking this quiz, Maoman. It’s for Americans only. Can’t you read? :stuck_out_tongue:

I took this quiz in about 5 minutes. Sure there are some grammar mistakes and the English is awkward, but it was understandable to me. Like all the others though, I thought the scenarios were all equally polite and appropriate. It’s almost always acceptable to compliment Americans on things like jewelry, clothing, or gadgets.

It’s compliments like, “you’re so beautiful” or “you’re so handsome” that are usually inappropriate among strangers and in professional situations. That seems to be the biggest cultural difference in relation to compliments that I’ve found between Taiwanese and Americans.

Anyway, good luck with your study, Jill.

[quote=“Maoman”]It’s riddled with bad English. I mean, come on! “How likely will you accept this compliment?” Very likely? Do you even know what that means? I don’t.

But never mind the poor English - that’s the stupidest questionnaire I’ve seen in a long time. The scenarios are all almost identical, and very contrived. Once I saw the first few pages, I couldn’t be bothered. I came back here to tell others not to waste their time.

Oh, and what does this have to do with Teaching English in Taiwan? :loco:
[/quote]

Is that the part where you offer constructive criticism and welcome a new user to forumosa? Hate to break it to you, but you really suck at this.

marboulette

Yes. For example, it can be quite disconcerting to a foreign man to be called “handsome” by a Taiwanese man. But it’s a common occurrence.

[quote=“Erhu”][quote=“Maoman”]It’s riddled with bad English. I mean, come on! “How likely will you accept this compliment?” Very likely? Do you even know what that means? I don’t.

But never mind the poor English - that’s the stupidest questionnaire I’ve seen in a long time. The scenarios are all almost identical, and very contrived. Once I saw the first few pages, I couldn’t be bothered. I came back here to tell others not to waste their time.[/quote]

You’re not even supposed to be taking this quiz, Maoman. It’s for Americans only. Can’t you read? :stuck_out_tongue:

I took this quiz in about 5 minutes. Sure there are some grammar mistakes and the English is awkward, but it was understandable to me. Like all the others though, I thought the scenarios were all equally polite and appropriate. It’s almost always acceptable to compliment Americans on things like jewelry, clothing, or gadgets.

It’s compliments like, “you’re so beautiful” or “you’re so handsome” that are usually inappropriate among strangers and in professional situations. That seems to be the biggest cultural difference in relation to compliments that I’ve found between Taiwanese and Americans.

Anyway, good luck with your study, Jill.[/quote]

You’re slow Erhu. I took it in 3.2 sec once I realized it was all about material stuff. So, is the OP trying to see how egoistical we are about our possessions?

By the way, that’s a nice shirt you have on in your avatar. You have great taste in clothes. :stuck_out_tongue:

I am forever being asked by students here and overseas to fill out questionnaires for their research. Every single one them has had serious flaws. I figure that poor grammar is just part of the local scene, but graduate work done at significant overseas schools suffers from the same problems.

  1. Questionnaires are far too long. Some of the ones I’ve been sent are more than 10 pages. At least Jill’s survey can be done in a few minutes. In one survey I received, I watched as another respondent flipped through a 10-page survey in about 2 minutes, checking answers almost at random.

  2. Many of the questions are flawed and ask for information that is technically impossible or ridiculous. Jill’s example that demands you imagine you are a woman is the kind of thing I mean. This was clearly not intended and I have no idea how such research could have made it past a supervisor. Problems like this are very common.

  3. It is not clear how the kind of information that researchers want can be obtained with a questionnaire. Talking to someone about a situation they have never been in or one that is so contrived it feels strange is not going to elicit useful information about how someone would respond in a real life situation. In this case, it appears Jill did not realize she is asking people to imagine something so far out of common experience she might as well be asking how they would respond to a fire or an alien invasion.

As a result of these flaws, I very rarely fill out any of the surveys I am asked about. I figure it’s a waste of life, and I’d rather be doing something useful, like reading forumosa.com and responding to comments. The most disturbing aspect of this is that these student’s supervisors have let this research pass. As I said, I have seen such poor design come from doctoral candidates at Western schools, so I presume it’s not a Taiwan thing per say. But since most of it has come from faculties of education, it’s hard not to feel this is the real cause of the problem.

[quote=“ScottSommers”]I am forever being asked by students here and overseas to fill out questionnaires for their research. Every single one them has had serious flaws. I figure that poor grammar is just part of the local scene, but graduate work done at significant overseas schools suffers from the same problems.

  1. Questionnaires are far too long. Some of the ones I’ve been sent are more than 10 pages. At least Jill’s survey can be done in a few minutes. In one survey I received, I watched as another respondent flipped through a 10-page survey in about 2 minutes, checking answers almost at random.

  2. Many of the questions are flawed and ask for information that is technically impossible or ridiculous. Jill’s example that demands you imagine you are a woman is the kind of thing I mean. This was clearly not intended and I have no idea how such research could have made it past a supervisor. Problems like this are very common.

  3. It is not clear how the kind of information that researchers want can be obtained with a questionnaire. Talking to someone about a situation they have never been in or one that is so contrived it feels strange is not going to elicit useful information about how someone would respond in a real life situation. In this case, it appears Jill did not realize she is asking people to imagine something so far out of common experience she might as well be asking how they would respond to a fire or an alien invasion.

As a result of these flaws, I very rarely fill out any of the surveys I am asked about. I figure it’s a waste of life, and I’d rather be doing something useful, like reading forumosa.com and responding to comments. The most disturbing aspect of this is that these student’s supervisors have let this research pass. As I said, I have seen such poor design come from doctoral candidates at Western schools, so I presume it’s not a Taiwan thing per say. But since most of it has come from faculties of education, it’s hard not to feel this is the real cause of the problem.[/quote]

so, what you’re really feeling is… :ponder:

Hi,

I always get annoyed when I see someone looking for “Americans”. There’s an (I hope) unintended insult to all the rest of us there, but reading through this thread I find that there is actually a reason for it. You want to compare Americans with Taiwanese, rather than “foreigners” with Taiwanese.

This is great. Americans think differently from other foreigners, and it’s really annoying when people turn around to me and say “but you’re a foreigner so you must think…” Presumably we will soon see surveys for people from other cultures?

To be honest though, I don’t think you can survey Americans in this way. The USA is not a homogenous culture. The diversity of values and opinions is huge, and different kinds of people are going to give you different answers. You would need to survey an awful lot of people in order to get a good picture of what is typical, and I don’t think forumosa is the place to do that.

In any case, when you decide to recognise the existence of the other 96% of the people in the world may I make one suggestion regarding the way you elicit help from people: Instead of just asking people to take your survey, start by introducing yourself and telling us what you’re trying to achieve and why. Are you a marketing agent for some commercial enterprise? Are you doing research for the government? Is this just your hobby? What’s going on? Give us a reason to help you out. Time is money. Would you give money to a complete stranger without any reason?

Personally, I won’t be taking the survey. I looked at the first few situations described and in every case my response would be incomprehension. None of this stuff is remotely interesting and I have trouble understanding why anyone would compliment me on any of it. In fact, comments about clothes, jewellery, ipods, and other crap are not compliments because they’re not directed at me. A compliment is “Hey Loretta, you wrote a really good post about XYZ,” because it acknowledges ME rather than the crap I surround myself with. I think other people have indicated similar opinions.

I’m feeling helpful. I just looked at the survey again. I have a few comments about your questions:

  1. How likely will you accept this compliment?
    I have no idea what this means. The ‘compliment’ has been given, if it is a compliment, and I can’t very well not accept it. I could acknowledge that it has been made, or not. But I’m unlikely to turn around and argue that my new googah is not pretty, fashionable, or whatever. So, in almost all situations I would just “accept” the comment.

  2. How appropriate is this compliment?
    This seems like a pretty good question to ask.

  3. How polite is this compliment?
    :doh: It’s a compliment. No bad language. No criticism. I’m a bit confused by this question too.

Let me give you some responses to the situations described that are not limited by your questions:
1. Tonight, you work in a lounge bar as usual and have a conversation with a regular customer. You put on the necklace just bought last night. He/she comes to notice and says, “Hey, that’s a really pretty necklace you’re wearing! Quite suitable for you!”
No idea. I have never in my life worn a necklace or any other form of personal jewellery. I simply cannot envisage ever being in this situation. Putting myself in the place of the customer, and imagining myself talking to the waitress, I feel that I would think about our relationship before saying such a thing. In some cases it would be very appropriate, in others she would feel threatened. You need to define the situation more clearly before asking the question.

2. You are managing a convenient store. One of your staff, who has been working with you for almost two years, finds you are wearing a new jacket. He/she says, “Wow! Your jacket is quite beautiful! The outfit suits you a lot!”
Again, it depends on the relationship. If the employee is someone who is really into fashion then it may be a good topic of conversation, and I would know this due to our two years of previous interaction. On the other hand, it could be a sexual advance or an attempt to kiss the boss’s butt. It all depends on who the person is and what your previous interactions have been.

3. Today is the first day of this semester. You are listening to music on the latest I-Pod. While walking into the classroom, a new classmate of yours says, “Hey, your I-Pod is so pretty and fashionable! I wish I also had one like that.”
Can’t hear my new classmate. I’m listening to music. But seriously, I hear comments like this all the time and don’t view them as personal compliments. They’re just expressions of interest in my cool stuff, not in me. Also, I don’t care about what’s fashionable. I only care whether it works.

4. Many relatives come to your house for New Years’ Eve Party tonight. You dress up and put on the new hat that you just bought. When you walk into the living room, your uncle/aunt who you have rarely seen before says, “Wow! Beautiful! That hat! You certainly have a good sense in choosing hat!”
It’s usually inappropriate to wear a hat indoors. Complimenting someone on doing so would mark you out as worthy of derision. If we modify the question so that it’s a general comment on your fashion sense then I guess it’s not a bad one to ask. My guess would be that anyone in any culture would consider it perfectly normal for distant relatives to say stuff like this.

5. You just bought a car and spent a great amount of time upgrading the latest equipment. While parking in front of a building, a professor, who you know well, passes by and says, “Wow! Fantastic! That car! You have a pretty good appreciation of cars!”
I would feel uncomfortable that he’s complimenting my taste instead of commenting on the car. If he was to compliment me on the quality of the work that I had done personally, rather than on what I have bought, ten that would be different.

6. The professor had randomly separated your class into groups for projects. You are discussing an assignment with a group of members that you do not know well. One of your group members sees your bag and says, “Hey, I’m impressed by your fantastic bag! I like it!”
I would be utterly amazed if anyone ever said anything like that. But then I walk around with a perfectly normal backpack. I guess things would be different if there was something special about it, but if this is the case then you need to make that clear. I should warn you that as a middle-aged man I can’t easily imagine being a university student with an LV bag.

7. Being a waiter/waitress in a restaurant, you are about to serve the first appetizer to a new customer. When he/she sees the watch you are wearing today, he/she says, “Hey, I love the beautiful watch you’re wearing now! You have a good taste in choosing the style!”
Well, I don’t wear a watch so I have to think harder about this. It seems to me that this sort of comment would either be a sexual advance, or else a completely idiotic thing to say. Probably both. It also depends on the watch, of course. A diamond-encrusted Rolex is probably worthy of comment, and I would be interested to know why someone wearing such a thing would be serving in a restaurant.

Also, in my experience, Taiwanese restaurants rarely manage to deliver the appetizer ahead of the main course so I imagine that the conversation would be more likely to revolve around food than personal adornments.

8. You have been trying very hard to save up for a new cell phone in the past three months. Finally you got it yesterday. When your close friend sees it, he/she says, “Hey, I really like your cell phone! It’s fabulous! I hope I could have one as well.”
As an adult, I possess two things that make it hard to envisage this situation. One is a regular income, and the other is a credit card. When I decided to buy a new phone recently I just went into the store and bought the one I wanted. The idea of saving up to buy a phone is silly. I mention this to illustrate that you’re assuming an awful lot about the people taking the survey.
I guess you’re trying to describe a situation in which the phone is important and your question is about people recognising the effort/cost involved in buying it. It’s just not going to happen. Sorry. People put a lot of emotional value on their gadgets, but few of us “try very hard” for three months to buy one.

9. You are a flute teacher. Tonight, you have a performance at an auditorium and you use your brand new flute for it. After the great performance, a student who you just taught for one week comes up and says, “Wow! That’s a very wonderful flute you’re playing! I wish I could have one just like yours.”
It all depends on the student’s attitude displayed in class. If he/she is really into the hobby and is just appreciative of a quality instrument then I would encourage him. But then it’s not a compliment, it’s a discussion about something we both are interested in. If, on the other hand, he’s a lazy student who thinks he can be a good musician by buying a good instrument then he needs to be slapped down for his idiotic comment. Then again, he could be just butt-kissing.

10. You are a tutor. For the class purpose, you bring your laptop with you today. When seeing your laptop, one of your students who you have been teaching for almost two years says, “Hey, it’s a pretty cool laptop that you have! I love it!”
Haven’t we had this one already? Someone commenting on stuff instead of the topic at hand. Depends on the relationship. I spend hours talking about gear with one of my students, another is just looking for excuses to avoid doing any work.

11. After your house party, a close friend of yours stays and helps clean up the dishes. While putting away the dishes, he/she notices the vase in the living room and says, “Hey, the pattern of your vase is quite beautiful! It goes well with your home style!”
My close friend never noticed this before, not even at the party? OK. Yes, it’s nice isn’t it? I bought it in B&Q. Blah blah.

12. You are a professor. After teaching the last class for today, you are going to ride your bike back to the dormitory. At that time, a new transfer student in your class sees your bike and he/she says, “Wow! Beautiful! That bike! I like it a lot!”
Sincere? Butt-kissing? I can usually tell the difference. It matters.

There. Hope this helps. I’m sure others will add their thoughts.

Loretta, I think these are excellent points. It’s criticism like this that Jill needed from her professors and fellow students before she started the project.

I don’t know who Jill is or what kind of research this is. One of the problems with student research in Taiwan is that it does not receive adequate supervision. At my school, all 4th year students have to do a research project. The result of this is that huge numbers of projects need to be supervised but instead, none of them get proper supervision. In fact, most of these students have not been adequately prepared to do this work, combined with poor supervision, this produces loads of meaningless work. Most students would benefit much more from further course work. Contrast this with the situation in Canada (and probably the US). Only top students in a department would be eligible to do a research project and they would also have special course work and support to assist them.

With the expansion of universities, ‘research’ and the need for subjects has become a much more visible part of life here. Much of this is bound to deal with ‘foreigners’ or as Jill called them ‘Americans’. While I have defended the expansion of the university system in this post on my blog,
scottsommers.blogs.com/taiwanweb … -on-t.html
the issue of poorly conceived research filtering into society is a part of the problem.

I just noticed that Jill is recorded as having 4 forumosa posts. A search for these posts
search.php?keywords=&terms=all&author=jill19821122&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search
indicates a further problem. Jill has posted the link to her survey on a number of different forumosa forums. Some of the instructions to respondents appear to be different. Maoman is indeed clearly not eligible to be involved in this.

[quote=“Loretta”]Hi,

I always get annoyed when I see someone looking for “Americans”. There’s an (I hope) unintended insult to all the rest of us there, but reading through this thread I find that there is actually a reason for it. You want to compare Americans with Taiwanese, rather than “foreigners” with Taiwanese. [/quote]

I think she is doing some research in sociolinguistics. The concept of giving / accepting compliments is vastly different in different cultures, and Americans are widely researched on this subject; their compliment culture is different from the British and many other Western cultures. So, that is I think why she specifically wanted to ask Americans. You can’t group ‘foreigners’ together on this topic.

I took the survey a while back, so I don’t remember it all, but I think that at least in part she’s looking for a correlation between (a) the relationship of the complimented and complimenting persons and (b) the way the compliment is received. In other words, will a compliment be more or less acceptable if it comes from a close friend, a stranger, a family member, one’s professor, etc.?

As for convenient store: our noun adjuncts (nouns used as adjectives) take some getting used to, and it’s easy to be confused by them. This one is especially problematic, since it doesn’t fit the usual pattern. (At a bookstore people buy books, at a toy store people buy toys, at a convenience store, people buy . . . ? There’s a similar problem with “department store,” and a lot of my students have had trouble retaining that term.) If fault has to be assigned, it would seem to lie more with the person who came up with the term, and with those who perpetuated it, than with any non-native speaker trying to remember and use it “correctly.”

As to the appropriateness of posting in this forum: Many people who are brand-new to this board are not aware of the fact that if you post in the wrong forum, the terrorists win (either that or it triggers the Twilight of the Gods, I forget which).

It has to do with speech act theory and politeness strategies. I think she is looking more at how Americans receive compliments and will probably be comparing it to how Taiwanese receive compliments. This type of research has been done again and again and again and there is probably loads of it available to read online. If you are interested, you can google “politeness strategies Chinese” or “politeness strategies American” or something along those lines.

[quote=“Loretta”]
To be honest though, I don’t think you can survey Americans in this way. The USA is not a homogenous culture. The diversity of values and opinions is huge, and … [/quote]

Well, this is not true. Of course one can define characteristics typical of American culture. Despite the diversity, the culture defines common values. And this has been done many times.

I am sure your help in the other reaction was very much appreciated.

[quote=“Indiana”][quote=“Loretta”]Hi,

I always get annoyed when I see someone looking for “Americans”. There’s an (I hope) unintended insult to all the rest of us there, but reading through this thread I find that there is actually a reason for it. You want to compare Americans with Taiwanese, rather than “foreigners” with Taiwanese. [/quote]

I think she is doing some research in sociolinguistics. The concept of giving / accepting compliments is vastly different in different cultures, and Americans are widely researched on this subject; their compliment culture is different from the British and many other Western cultures. So, that is I think why she specifically wanted to ask Americans. You can’t group ‘foreigners’ together on this topic.[/quote]
I feel comfortable with my participation in polls like this. :idunno: I grew up within a short drive of the border, and I spent a year at a college in Indiana. The cultural differences between me and the Hoosier students were less significant than the ones between them and the students from LA, Alaska, New York City, Texas, Hawaii, etc.