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The term pseudo-poll refers to a number of practices that may appear to be legitimate polls but are not. A legitimate poll uses scientific sampling to learn about the opinions and behaviors of a population. Pseudo-polls include unscientific (and thus, unreliable) attempts to measure opinions and behaviors as well as other practices that look like polls but are designed for purposes other than legitimate research.

A variety of techniques are used to conduct unscientific assessments of opinion, all of which are considered pseudo-polls. These can be used by media and other organizations as an inexpensive way to measure public opinion and get the audience involved. However, they are very problematic from a data quality standpoint and should not be referred to as polls.

One common approach ...

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