"And the Survey Says...": Using Family Feud to Gather, Understand, and Analyze Different Levels of Data


  • John S. Seiter Utah State University
  • Timothy Curran Utah State University
  • Kristina M. Scharp


Teaching Statistics, Quantitative Research Methods, Research Writing, Data Analysis


This article presents an activity, based on the game show Family Feud, designed to engage students in statistics courses. After participating, students should understand different levels of data. In addition, the activity provides teachers a springboard for presenting other concepts, including measures of central tendency, and graphing, analyzing and reporting research results.

Author Biographies

John S. Seiter, Utah State University

John Seiter earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is a professor at Utah State University, where he was previously named the university’s Professor of the Year and the college’s Researcher of the Year. With Robert Gass, he coauthored the textbook Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining, now in its sixth edition. John has also co-edited two books and published over 50 articles and chapters. His research, which has received eight national awards, focuses on a variety of topics, including deception detection, political aggression, and hospitality. He currently sits on the editorial boards of three journals.

Timothy Curran, Utah State University

Timothy Curran is an assistant professor of Communication Studies (Ph.D. University of Georgia, 2017). His areas of specialization include intergenerational transmissions of psychological health factors in families, relational schema, family conflict, and interpersonal communication and social adjustment. He is currently conducting research on the relationship between cognitive flexibility and communication skills among parents and adult children.

Kristina M. Scharp

Kristina Scharp is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. She received her graduate degrees from the University of Iowa where she specialized in interpersonal, family, and health communication. Dr. Scharp primarily researches difficult family transitions and the ways families cope with the major disruptions to their lives. The research she conducts on distressing family transitions manifests in a variety of contexts such as parent-child estrangement, (foster) adoption, undergraduate student parents, and disability diagnoses such as hearing loss. She is also expressly interested in the ways family members resist being marginalized through related processes such as identity (re)construction, social support-seeking, information/uncertainty management, and meaning-making.


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