Contradictions Created by Pollsters' Use of Forced-Choice Questions
NEW YORK, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How can two different polling organizations, Gallup and Pew, report opposite results about public support for the U.S. government's efforts to save the auto industry? Gallup showed a majority of Americans disapproving of the "bailout," while Pew showed an even larger majority believing the opposite – that the "loans" were good for the economy.
David W. Moore, Ph.D., a veteran Gallup pollster who writes the popular bi-monthly "PollSkeptic Report" for iMediaEthics, a media ethics news website, reports in the auto industry PollCheck, published this week on iMediaEthics.org, that despite different question wording, the two polling organizations would have come to similar conclusions had they been willing to measure non-opinion, rather than pressuring all respondents to express an opinion, whether they had thought about the issue or not.
The PollCheck was conducted by re-polling the public and using more neutral wording to test Pew's and Gallup's findings.
iMediaEthics is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan media ethics news website that has been holding the media accountable since its launch (then as StinkyJournalism.org) in 2004. By examining concrete, measurable errors of fact and ethical breaches regularly encountered in the press, iMediaEthics has established itself among the top 20 most-trafficked media watchdog websites, according to Alexa.
Published by Art Science Research Laboratory (ASRL), iMediaEthics is a not-for-profit directed by Rhonda Roland Shearer, an adjunct lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. Shearer co-founded ASRL with her late husband, Harvard professor and scientist Stephen Jay Gould.