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Public opinion research is an applied social science activity that features prominently in various academic disciplines, including communication, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology. Public opinion research often has as its goal the quantification and description of preferences of large numbers of people in carefully described geographic areas such as cities, states, or nations. Often the specific time frame under study is particularly important, and typically public opinion is assessed on a recurring basis by firms and organizations specializing in such tasks. Some of these involve media organizations that use the results of public opinion research as the basis for news stories or to comment upon political or social events, policies, and people.

Use of Survey Research to Assess Public Opinion

Most often, public opinion as ...

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