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.

Panel Surveys

Panel surveys

Panel surveys measure the same variables with identical individuals at several points in time. They thus obtain longitudinal data that could also be collected via normal trend studies—based on similarly composed samples that are freshly recruited for each survey. Of course, both panel studies and trend studies are equally adept at measuring net change over time. Yet panel studies further enable the researcher to investigate the full extent and direction of the changes— along with the various processes that have contributed to the overall change. Thus, panels reveal how many people changed their position or opinion at all, whether their position changed moderately or substantially, and which new position replaced the old one. In addition, panels allow us to establish which factors ...

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