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The respondents in general came from one geographical part of the city and also grade the quality of service of the city more harshly than others.

I interpret this that the parks department might be doing a really bad job in certain parts of the city. The trees are not kept well and trimmed, obstructing views and making driving unsafe, branches in the street after heavy winds, something like that. Now if I already think the city is doing a piss poor job, I'm sure not going to give them the justification they need to raise my taxes just so they can plant more trees (when they can't be trusted to take care of the ones that already exist).

In other words, the respondent's answer depends on the who they think is asking the question and how they think their answer might be used.




Very good point about this specifically. They live in a poorer part of the city. It shouldn't be that way, but it may well be that their neighbourhoods aren't as well tended as some of the richer parts of San Francisco.

> In other words, the respondent's answer depends on the who they think is asking the question and how they think their answer might be used.

Also, a good point about surveys in general.


We don't have any real data to support it, but I'm a fan of the hypothesis that at least some people are answering this question with the survey's ultimate use in mind. Anyone know of any good research around that kind of validity issue?

Add'l note about the data: folks who wanted fewer trees were spread fairly evenly across the city; they were slightly more likely to come from the Southeast, but it wasn't a big effect, and within any given district all the other relationships were still true.




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