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PS 101 Public Opinion Summer 2008
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PS 101 Public Opinion Summer 2008

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  • 1. Public Opinion Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  • 2. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” ~ Mark Twain
  • 3. Public Opinion The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly through words or actions.
  • 4. Polling
  • 5. Survey Systematic interviews by trained, professional interviewers, who ask a standardized set of questions of a rather small number of randomly chosen citizens.
  • 6. Public Opinion Poll a relatively few individuals (the sample) are interviewed in order to estimate the opinions of a whole population.
  • 7. The Theory of Probability
  • 8. Sampling Error?
  • 9. The Bell Curve 68% 95%
  • 10. Representative (Probability) Sample sample in which each individual in the population has a known probability of being selected at random for inclusion in the survey
  • 11. Phone Books and Computer Dialing (cc) 2006 mj ecker Some Rights Reserved
  • 12. What about Cell Phones? (cc) 2006 Andreww Hubbell Some Rights Reserved
  • 13. Straw Polls Unscientific surveys which make no attempt at using a representative (random) sample in their polling.
  • 14. 1936 Presidential Election
  • 15. 1948 Presidential Election
  • 16. 2004 Zogby Exit Polls
  • 17. Push polls Polls which deliberately feed respondents misleading information or leading questions in an effort to “push” them into favoring a particular candidate or issue.
  • 18. Surveys and Polling

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