Alcohol, drugs and smoking: Image vs reality?

About our Survey:
All four countries decided on a set of questions each, which we then formed into one survey. They worked out a few questions on the theme of alcohol, drugs and smoking. Asking students from each school, in each country, to fill out the survey. With this survey, we can find some statistics about consumption of harmful substances by English, Danish, Czech and French students.
We analyzed the statistics in a group of six and tried to explain the differences in both own data and that of the international data.

Questionnaire game:

Our predictions:

Danish
  • More likely to drink than smoke
  • Likely to want the legalization of weed
Czech
  • Start drinking at a later age
  • More stigma surrounding drugs and alcohol
English
  • More likely to drink, less likely to smoke
  • Drink more, but start drinking at a later age
  • Lots of stigma surrounding drugs
French
  • Start drinking at an early age
  • Smoke more
  • Less stigma surrounding smoking
  • More likely to want the legalization of weed
Our predictions were, however, mostly wrong. As you have probably realised if you played our questionnaire games. This has shown us that our views of people from different countries are not always correct, based on stereotypes for example. So, base your assumptions on facts from official sources, if possible.
Thanks to the Official International Statistics, we can see that the French are more likely to have never drunk alcohol before 15 years Old. On the  other hand 97 % of Czechs have already drunk before 15.
We found that the data differed greatly between our survey and that of official surveys, for example: In the percentage of people who do not smoke, our data said the following:
  • France = 59%
  • England = 61%
  • Czech = 50%
  • Denmark = 40%
However, the official statistics were:
  • France = 86%
  • England =93%
  • Czech = 70%
  • Denmark = 90%
Why could this be? If we presume that our data is invalid, then here are the reasons that we came up with to explain this:
  • The Hawthorn effect = Where people respond with the answer they think is correct, to please the researcher.
  • The environment in which the questions are answered.
  • Only one school from each country = unrepresentative.
  • People lie
  • The questions led the respondents to a specific answer
  • The Czech’s school = they came from a selective grammer school.
  • Respondants can be from a specific group, which produces a set of answers which aren’t representative.
  • There was no Pilot study to improve questions.
  • Different cultural definitions of words, such as drunk.
Why do you think, official statisics could be invalid?

 

Conclusion:
There is no such thing as a perfect study/survey.

Official statistics:

Official statistics are very important for any research or hypothese but there are some challenges we all face with these: the main one is that each country constructs it’s own statistics whith its own methods, and thus its own hypothesises. Due to this, it is difficult to compare the data and we must always take note of the method.
Tobacco stats for the world:
http://www.tobaccoatlas.org/
British Office for National Statistics = alcohol, drugs and smoking habbits:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2014
French public health site, on alcohol:
http://inpes.santepubliquefrance.fr/30000/actus2015/020-alcool-donnees-barometre-2014.asp
Danish stats on alcohol:
https://www.sst.dk/da/nyheder/2016/danske-unge-drikker-stadig-for-meget
Czech site about tobacco usage:
http://www.szu.cz/uploads/documents/czzp/zavislosti/Uzivani_tabaku2015.pdf