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ISS_225_Lec_2_Scientific_Method

Only the wealthy had telephones and cars in 1936 take

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Only the wealthy had telephones and cars in 1936. Take a look at Gallup Polls web site for examples of polling today: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx Sample (same variation) Population (variation) C. Types of Polls: 1. Straw Polls These are unscientific polls that do not try to elicit a random sample from the population. Today, one of the best examples is the SLOP polls (self-selected listener opinion polls) where TV or radio stations ask listeners to call-in and vote to express an opinion. (You also see them on the internet). These are entirely unreliable. They have given polling a bad name. 2. Telephone Polls Most polling is done through random digit dialing. 95% of Americans now have telephones. A computer selects the numbers. It results in a good random sample. 3. In-person Polls 8
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Scientific Method Can help illicit more information and get into greater depth, but interviewer might even unknowingly influence the answers. These are time-consuming and have a small sample size. 4. Tracking Polls These consist of continual surveys conducted every 24 hours using small samples of people. They enable a campaign to chart its course and se how it’s doing over time. Have reliability problems due to small sample. Usually fast, fewer questions. 5. Exit Polls These are conducted at selected polling places on Election Day to predict the winners and find out whom and why people voted for certain candidates. They are usually very accurate 6. Deliberative Polls These bring a representative sample of people together to discuss and debate political issues in order to provide policy suggestions. Take a microcosm of the country to think about issues and make recommendations (less a device to see what the public is thinking). These are less scientific. For example, a group may watch a speech, debate, then respond. D. Issues about polling: Supporters of polling consider it a tool for democracy by which policy-makers can keep in touch with changing opinion on issues. Critics say it can weaken democracy by distorting the election process and opinion. 1. Creates a bandwagon effect during elections. 2. Exit polls declare the winner before everyone has voted. 3. Media pays more attention to horserace than issues. 4. Wording of a question can affect the answer. 5. Placement of questions may affect answer. 6. Hard to measure the intensity of feelings. 7. Hard to gauge attitudes about issues that people care little about or have little information about. 8. Impact on policy makers and politics, politicians become followers rather than leaders. 9. Hawthorne effect – respondent is affected/prejudiced by the polling situation. 10. Halo effect – respondent wants to be a good citizen – answers in a way that makes them look good.
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