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Statistics and Methodology

Decision makers need reliable objective data and analysis to inform policy and allocate resources.  In a time where modes of communications continue to evolve at rapid rates and reaching and engaging respondents remains challenging, the NORC Statistics and Methodology department plays a critical role in designing and implementing successful surveys and analyzing the resulting data.

The Statistics and Methodology department pioneers innovations in all aspects of survey research.  NORC statisticians and methodologists help understand the cognitive processes underlying respondents’ reactions to surveys; design and implement rigorous, efficient methods for sampling from populations and weighting resultant survey data; and employ advanced techniques for analyzing and interpreting survey and secondary data.  The department collaborates with all NORC research departments and the Academic Research Centers, as well as conducts research in its own field.

The Center for Excellence in Survey Research is a related program that also helps insure the statistical integrity of the work performed at NORC.

Major Capabilities

  • Statistical Sampling Methodology
    • Sample Frame Creation and Maintenance
    • National Frame Sample Design
    • Address-Based Sampling (ABS)
    • Random Digit Dial (RDD) Sampling
    • Data Imputation
    • Survey Weighting Methods
    • Variance Estimation
    • Small Area Estimation
    • Total Survey Error Estimation
  • Survey Data Collection Methodology
    • Questionnaire Design
    • Cognitive Interviewing
    • Focus Groups
    • Psychometrics
    • Response Error Mechanisms
    • Nonresponse Mechanisms
  • Data Dissemination
    • Disclosure Analysis
    • Data Suppression

Data Analysis

    • Generalized Linear Models
    • Logistic Regression
    • Factor Analysis
    • Survival Analysis
    • Categorical Data Analysis
    • Item Response Theory
    • Structural Equation Models
    • Program Evaluation
    • Economic Analysis
    • Analysis of Variance
    • Integrated Data Systems

Special Capabilities

In addition to NORC's core capabilities, the Statistics and Methodology Department has advanced skills in:

  • Geographical information systems
  • Statistical computing
  • Administrative Records Research

Representative Projects

2010 National Sample Frame. U.S. households are the primary unit for sample selection for many studies, but sample frames for households can be difficult and expensive to create. In order to provide a sample frame for use by many surveys, NORC has constructed the 2010 National Sample Frame, based on the 2010 Census information. This sample is representative of over 99% of U.S. households and provides a listing of almost 3 million households, including over 80,000 rural households. More

2012 NORC Presidential Election Study. The 2012 NORC Presidential Election Study was conducted in the weeks prior to the Presidential election to measure public opinion about important issues the country faces – economic recovery, health care costs, and extreme partisanship. More

Census PVS Assessment. As part of the Person Identification Validation System Assessment engagement with the Census Bureau, NORC has conducted a review of the Census Bureau’s record linkage methods associated with the PVS, as well as an environmental scan of record linkage methods used by other government agencies—both within and outside of the U.S.—and private enterprises.  More

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Kennon R. Copeland

(301) 634-9432

Senior Staff

Kennon R. Copeland

Kennon R. Copeland
Senior Vice President and Director

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee
Senior Survey Methodologist

Ned English

Ned English
Senior Survey Methodologist

See all Statistics and Methodology experts