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Posts Tagged ‘American Association for Public Opinion Research’

MÄTMETODER: Det har blivit allt svårare och dyrare att hämta in vetenskapligt grundade mätresultat för de amerikanska opinionsinstituten.

Opinionsinstitutens inflytande på både politik och politiker har ökat samtidigt som deras metoder och mätresultat alltmer har blivit ifrågasatta.

Att få tag i data av god kvalitet har försvårats inte minst p.g.a. mobilteknologin och Internet.

Lisa Lerer på Bloomberg Businessweek rapporterar:

”Something has got to change,” says Nate Silver, who ranks pollsters on his popular website, FiveThirtyEight.com. [Silver] is embroiled in a polling controversy of his own: He has called Zogby International the ”worst pollster in the world,” arguing that Zogby’s Internet-based surveys rely on an unscientific sample of participants who volunteer on the Zogby website. Chief Executive Officer John Zogby says his results are accurate, and spokeswoman Leann Atkinson says the company is preparing an article questioning Silver’s methodology for ranking pollsters.

Polls are attracting attention because they increasingly feed an Internet-driven appetite for 24/7 political news. Negative poll numbers can deliver a fatal blow to candidates or make it difficult to raise money and build grassroots momentum. […]

The cost of conducting scientifically sound polling has increased. Scott Keeter, director of survey research for the Pew Research Center and incoming president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, says only about 20 percent of people contacted agree to take part in political surveys. That reluctance has forced pollsters to try new methods to get a statistically sound sample size. More than 20 percent of all U.S. households now only use cell phones, according to government statistics released in May. Including those users in surveys drives up polling costs because lists of cell-phone users cost twice as much as standard lists of registered voters, says J. Ann Selzer, president of polling firm Selzer & Co […] ”Every month, it’s harder and harder to do this job and do it right,” says Selzer.

Many research organizations are turning to the Internet, though that method is also fraught. To get a correct sample, every participant must have an equal chance of being contacted, says Selzer, the top-ranked pollster in Silver’s 2008 rankings. A truly random sample is hard to achieve online, given that there’s no national registry of e-mail addresses.  

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