X-Message-Number: 9707
From: "Scott Badger" <>
Subject: The Survey
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 04:25:43 -0500

Many thanks to those who have commented on my idea
regarding the need for a consumer survey.

Allow me to respond:

 >From Leonard Zubkoff:

 >Bulk email of this sort will only annoy a very large number of people and
 >not make them any more receptive to the idea of cryonics.  Unsolicited
 >email is a very hot topic at the moment, and we do not want to align
 >with those who use it.

I don't think we can assume people will react this way.
It will depend, to a great degree, on how professionally
the study is conducted. Personally, I am only mildly
annoyed when I receive solicitations or get-rich-quick
schemes in the e-mail. I must not be on very many lists.
I understand that some people are though, and many resent the
intrusion.  On the other hand, I think the average person
is familiar with the existence and the legitimate
need for genuine consumer surveys. I have one friend who
greatly appreciates the opportunity to provide consumer input
because she wants her needs recognized and catered
to.  Successfully identifying and servicing the needs of
consumers simply requires accurate data gathering.  I am
not inclined to ignore a powerful medium such as the internet
simply because it has been abused by some.

 >From: "den Otter" <>
 >Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 11:44:36 +0200

 >"Incidentally, I had a more or less related idea yesterday:
 >use bulk email to newsgroups, mailing lists and maybe private
 >addresses to increase public..."

I would prefer to do a random sampling of the general population.
It's too early to do target marketing.

 >A survey would be a good excuse to do some large-scale (yet cheap)
 >promoting, and might generate some interesting data too. Indeed it
 >would be practical to direct interested folks to a special website, with
 >the full survey, but also a list of cryonics organizations, some other
 >cryonics links and a FAQ. Basically a simplified version of the CryoNet

"Good excuse"? Hmmm.  I do see the survey as having a promotional
aspect to it, but only in an educational sense. I would not want to make
any direct solicitations or offers. Nor will I ask for names and
addresses so we can send information.  All responses will be
anonymous and respondents will have no reason to believe that
this is anything but a survey. And yes, I had already planned on a
"links" page at the end of the survey.

 >From: Thomas Donaldson <>

 >valuable. The only things close to surveys on cryonics happened
 >more than 10 years ago, and are probably outmoded. It would also
 >give some more concrete answers to hypotheses about WHY cryonics has
 >grown slowly.


 >I believe that such a survey would also tell us such things as
 >whether or not our level of research had any influence on membership
 >growth . . .

This question will be addressed.

 >There are some insights such surveys may produce which will not
 >satisfy anyone. And naturally they are likely to be approximate, only,
 >without decisively settling our questions in the way a physics experiment
 >might. We should all realize these possibilities.

Yes, I mispoke earlier when I suggested that this would "...settle..."
anything. It should, however, serve to narrow the debate and guide
our discussions.

 >From: John de Rivaz <>

 >An excellent idea. What about including a "give away" - the (say 10) best
 >essays on "why I didn't sign up" get a free book, or even a single much
 >bigger prize. They should obviously be encouraged to list everything that
 >worries them.

I'm not very disposed to the idea of a prize or giveaway. It smacks too
much of promotion and I think the promotional aspects of the survey are
inherently built in. I'm open to more discussion on this point though.

 >I think the big difficulty, though, is that a lot of people may not be
 >honest - they don't want to admit even to themselves, that the real reason
 >is "what will the neighbours think" syndrome, or "once you get involved
 >these people you can never get rid of them" syndrome or whatever. (I have
 >heard the last being presented as a reason for not seeking ordinary
 >treatment. I am sure it also stops people buying life insurance, making
 >wills, and even giving to charity.)

I'm more inclined to present the objections we already know are out there,
and ask the respondents to rate how much weight each might have in their
decision making process. They would also have an opportunity to communicate
"OTHER" objections.


My thoughts are that the survey should have 3 primary sections:

(1) Demographics - age, gender, income, ethnicity, religion,
family size, etc.

(2) A cryonics quiz - a series of questions designed to
measure the respondent's current familiarity with cryonics,
and to identify misconceptions and myths about cryonics.  I
believe that a quiz is an effective survey tool. It's interactive
and helps maintain interest. It also creates the desire to
find out how many answers one got correct. Since the answers aren't
revealed until the end, the respondent is motivated to complete the
entire survey.

(3) Attitudes and Opinions - designed to measure interest
levels and specific objections to various aspects of

As mentioned, once the survey is submitted, the respondent
will be sent to a web page with the correct answers to the
quiz questions.  This page will also contain a number of
cryonics-related links to aid those who want to know more.

I would like to invite anyone with an interest to e-mail me
directly if they have a survey item/question that they believe
should be included for any of the sections.  Write the item
out exactly as you would like to see it on the survey.  It might
be better to send your recommendations directly to me at
 rather than create a lot of extra
noise on cryonet.

I will compile the recommendations and suggestions and develop
a rough draft that I will make available to the cryonet group
to critique before conducting the survey. I would like to have a
working model and invite cryonet members to actually take the
survey over the web to discover any bugs.

This will be a time-consuming project for me and I remind all
that it will be later this summer before I can really work on it.


 Scott Badger


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