Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people’s attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.

Face-to-Face Surveys

Face-to-face surveys

Face-to-face interviews are the oldest method of survey data collection and still have an important role in many studies. In their purest form, face-to-face surveys use interviewers to both contact and collect information from respondents (de Leeuw & Collins, 1997). Face-to-face surveys, along with telephone surveys, self-administered questionnaires (such as mail surveys), and e-mail and Internet surveys, comprise the four different modes of data collection discussed in this Handbook. Face-to-face surveys can be used alone, but often are used in combination with these other modes.

Decisions about whether to conduct a face- to-face survey are influenced by concerns about costs and data quality, sampling issues, design features of the instrument, and the desired length of the field period. Modes of data collection used ...

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