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.
Chapter 40: Attitudes of the Public Toward Public Opinion Research and Polling
Attitudes of the Public Toward Public Opinion Research and Polling
The public's sentiment and general understanding of survey research and polling is a topic that joins fundamental principles of democracy with a rapidly changing communication and research environment. With these changes have come significant challenges to those who use surveys as a public research tool. Several cautions surround our interpretation of public opinions on polls, as favorability and selection bias commingle with more standard problems of low response rates and non-response error.
This chapter reviews the public's evaluation of public opinion, primarily represented as polls. It presents the current state of our knowledge in layers. First, it accounts for the best data resources to date and provides ...