Demanding Democracy after Three Mile Island

By Raymond L. Goldsteen; John K. Schorr | Go to book overview

APPENDIX
STUDY METHODS

OUR FIRST SURVEY was conducted at the request of the Newberry Township Health Committee that had been formed by a community group, the Newberry Township-Three Mile Island Steering Committee. The purpose of the study was to investigate the attitudes of community members about the accident at Three Mile Island and the accident's impact on them.

In October 1979, we drew a probability sample from community per capita tax rolls, which contained the names of every adult member (eighteen years and over) in every household in Newberry Township and Goldsboro. From this list, we contacted 523 people by telephone. Of those contacted, 391 responded, for a response rate of 75 percent. The interviews lasted between forty-five and ninety minutes. All interviews took place between 8 October 1979 and 18 November 1979. The questionnaire was similar to that used by the Behavioral Effects Task Group of the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island.

Neither the Steering Committee nor the Health Committee had the funds to pay for this undertaking. Therefore, Raymond Goldsteen trained volunteers from the community to conduct the interviews. Because the interviewers were volunteers, he took considerable care to instruct them in the necessity for and method of unbiased interviewing. Training ses-

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