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Errors of commission are sometimes also called “false positives.” They refer to instances in which someone or something is erroneously included for consideration when they or it should have been excluded. In survey research, this error typically occurs when the eligibility of a unit is determined. For example, when someone is screened at the start of interviewer contact to determine whether or not he or she is eligible, and the person answers erroneously in a way that makes the interview proceed as though the person were eligible for data collection when in fact the person is not eligible, then this is an error of commission. In these cases, data are gathered and analyzed for someone who should not have been interviewed.

Errors of commission occur for ...

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