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Andrea mcdonough reviewer jessica ruby. We are constantly asked for our opinions which team do do you think will win the super bowl who wore it better on the red. Who are you going to vote for for mayor public opinion polls are everywhere.
Important decision makers in american government. Have long relied on public opinion polls throughout elections and important legislation. The problem is public opinion isnt easy to track and often times isnt even right in 1948.
The chicago daily tribune ran a now famous headline dewey defeats truman. They cried in big bold black and white letters. The problem is that dewey hadnt defeated truman.
The tribune had relied on polls to come to their conclusion whoops this happens. All the time because public opinion polls are either inaccurate or misleading. So why are they wrong.
And why do we keep using them first lets start with an important term sample.
A sample is the group of people that respond to questions during a public opinion. Poll. A polls quality rests largely on its sample.
And a sample can be bad in a few key ways it can be too small too narrow or the poll itself can be too difficult. Polls. That are too small are bad for obvious reasons.
And while you cant possibly ask every single person in america for their opinion. The more people you ask the more accurate your prediction polls that are too. Narrow that only ask a certain type of person a question are bad too consider a poll about whether or not the potato is the best vegetable in america.
If you only asked people in idaho. Where the state food is the potato chances are that you would get a much different answer than if you asked people in the state of new mexico. Where the state vegetable is beans getting the right kind of diversity in your sample means making.
Sure that your sample has a range of ages races genders and geographic regions.
Just to name a few finally polls that are too hard cant tell you much either. If youre asking people for their opinions on things about which they have no prior knowledge. The results will be pointless youre better off shaking a magic.
8 ball. Its not just the people youre asking that can cause bias. Though the person doing the asking is part of the problem.
Too thats called interviewer bias interviewer bias is all about the effect that the person asking the questions has on the sample humans generally dont like confrontation. People. Worry that their answers may make them look bad therefore we find that people tend to give socially desirable responses not necessarily their honest opinions because they dont want to come across as heartless racist or bigoted and the way we word our questions matters.
Too when polls purposely sway. The answers one way or the other its called a push poll. Because it pushes people to answer a certain way would you vote for candidate.
Smith is a perfectly normal question would you vote for candidate smith.
If you knew that he robs. Senior citizens is a push poll. So if polls are open to all sorts of manipulation.
And inaccuracies. Why are they still so prevalent. Despite their flaws public opinion polls.
Provide us with some sense of the thoughts and moods of large groups of people they offer politicians the chance to pass legislation. They think a majority of americans will support they help fashionistas on tv. Know which star wore the dress better on the red carpet finally they make us the people who get polled feel as though.
Our voice has been heard so next time you get a phone call asking your opinion or if you see a poll online. Take some time to think about who is asking. And why theyre asking then take that poll and its results with a grain of salt or a potato.
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