admittedly self-selecting

Humble   Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:06 pm GMT

Please look at the sentence:

Many of those who responded to our questionnaire - admittedly a self-selecting group - thought Iraq was unwinnable and that British Forces should not be there.

I’d like to make sure I get it right – the writer admits the questionnaire cannot be considered quite representative because only volunteers answered it.
Is it correct?

Guest   Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:32 pm GMT
Guest 2   Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:43 am GMT
I don't know why, but the phrase "self-selecting" sounds odd to me... I, myself, would never say that... Maybe you should use the word "voluntary," instead?

Or maybe between those hyphens you should put:

"a group comprised solely of volunteers"
Guest   Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:59 am GMT
I think self-selecting is OK in this sentence.

In ordinary (monospace) typing, you might want to use "--" instead of just "-" for the EM dashes
Humble   Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:39 am GMT
Thank you, guests.
It was a BBC article, my doubts only referred to my correct understanding.
Skippy   Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:13 pm GMT
This is one of the problems of polling... When you ask a question, only people who actually care enough to think about it will answer it... So if you get a question like "Do you think abortion, the killing of a baby, should be illegal?" Then anti-abortion people are gonna say yes of course where people who would normally support abortion would be more likely to answer "maybe." Where on the other hand, if the question was worded "Do you think abortion, which is protected by Supreme Court precedence, should be kept legal?" then it would have the opposite effect.

Self-selected means people who actually support British troops would opt out of responding.

I think... lol
Humble   Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:50 pm GMT
It’s a pity I’ve deleted the article, I thought I had enough context left. The poll was conducted among the British troops in Iraq. So they can’t help supporting themselves, but they obviously do not support the mission. Yes, they do care.
I think the article can be easily found with the sentence in question.