PS 101 Public Opinion Summer 2008

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PS 101 Public Opinion Summer 2008

  1. 1. Public Opinion Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” ~ Mark Twain
  3. 3. Public Opinion The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly through words or actions.
  4. 4. Polling
  5. 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. 6. Public Opinion Poll a relatively few individuals (the sample) are interviewed in order to estimate the opinions of a whole population.
  7. 7. The Theory of Probability
  8. 8. Sampling Error?
  9. 9. The Bell Curve 68% 95%
  10. 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. 11. Phone Books and Computer Dialing (cc) 2006 mj ecker Some Rights Reserved
  12. 12. What about Cell Phones? (cc) 2006 Andreww Hubbell Some Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Straw Polls Unscientific surveys which make no attempt at using a representative (random) sample in their polling.
  14. 14. 1936 Presidential Election
  15. 15. 1948 Presidential Election
  16. 16. 2004 Zogby Exit Polls
  17. 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. 18. Surveys and Polling

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