People's Choice, the

To this day, the study known as the People's Choice has influenced academic discussion far beyond the field of political communication. In sociology, the study is regarded as methodological spadework, in political science as the first systematic explanation for voting behavior, and in communicational science as the beginning of the empirical research on media effects. Thus, the study is a milestone for any of these disciplines.

Methodically, Paul Felix Lazarsfeld (1901–1976) continued to develop for People's Choice the instrument of the descriptive survey in order to explain differences between and changes of attitudes. From the constituency of the Erie County community in Ohio, he took a representative sampling that was divided into four evenly composed groups of 600 persons each. One of these groups was ...

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