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October 11, 2007

Comments

>There's no chance for respondents to explain or nuance their answers.

This is such a great point; And it is applicable to other so-called scientific studies.

This is exacly the problem with "Myers-Briggs"-esque tests. I was given one of these tests by a Singles Pastor so as to discern what my Spritual Gift(s) were. Amused, I took the test knowing full well that it couldn't tell me *anything* about my Spiritual Gift(s), and found out I was right about what the test would say was my preferred Gift(s).

I believe that taking a polls can and has been very misleading when it comes to public opinion. Sad to say I believe there is the largest segment of our culture that relies on the majority of public opinion taken from polls instead of thinking for themselves. I agree that time should be given to the individual to explain why they answered the question the way they did so that we can get to know them better and why they think the way they do. I took a statistics class in undergrad years ago and I found out that depending on how you frame the central hypothesis, you can create data just about any way you want to. All that matters is how you asked the question, the words you actually use, and the reality that you do not allow any further discussion about the question by press time to other questions. As for me I never answer a poll over the telephone and I never answer one when I'm approached in a shopping mall or at a carnival or circus. Some polls are so structured and designed to come up with the correct answer that the poster was looking for. I would want a serious pollster to present what he's after and what he's searching for in terms of his hypothesis or his knull hypothesis.

"It's some sort of weird self-fulfilling prophecy."

It's called propaganda. The intent to influence public opinion through deception is quite intentional.

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