The Illusion of Public Opinion (häftad)
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illustrated ed
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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240 g
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The Illusion of Public Opinion (häftad)

The Illusion of Public Opinion

Fact and Artifact in American Public Opinion Polls

Häftad Engelska, 2004-08-01
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In a rigorous critique of public opinion polling in the United States, George F. Bishop makes the case that a lot of what passes as "public opinion" in mass media today is an illusion, an artifact of measurement created by vague or misleading survey questions presented to respondents who typically construct their opinions on the spot. Using evidence from a wide variety of data sources, Bishop shows that widespread public ignorance and poorly informed opinions are the norm, rather than definitive public opinion on key political, social, and cultural issues of the day. The Illusion of Public Opinion presents a number of cautionary tales about how American public opinion has supposedly changed since September 11, 2001, amplified by additional examples drawn from the National Election Studies. Bishop's analysis of the pitfalls of asking survey questions and interpreting poll results leads the reader to a more skeptical appreciation of the art and science of public opinion polling as it is practiced today.
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Fler böcker av George F Bishop

  • Illusion of Public Opinion

    George F Bishop

    In a rigorous critique of public opinion polling in the United States, George F. Bishop makes the case that a lot of what passes as 'public opinion' in mass media today is an illusion, an artifact of measurement created by vague or misleading surv...

Recensioner i media

This carefully crafted, thoughtful, enlightening book joins a rapidly expanding literature critiquing such basics as the nature, role, and quality of public opinion. Highly recommended. * CHOICE * George Bishop has spent his distinguished career researching and writing about the effects of question wording on public opinion. In this book, he draws on a wealth of experience to explain what is real about public opinion and what is an illusion. In doing so, he provides an invaluable resource for students and the lay public, as well as for professionals in the field. -- Kent L. Tedin, University of Houston George Bishop bombards readers with an avalanche of troubling facts and figures about the flaws of poll findings and the inferences drawn from them. Though the evidence is damning, he cautions the reader against throwing the baby out with the bath. He further leavens his attacks with sound advice about ways to improve polling accuracy. This is an eye-opening, thought-provoking book that is bound to stir hot debates among public opinion scholars! -- Doris Graber, University of Illinois, Chicago In a world where the poll, no matter how superficial or ineptly done, can powerfully shape events, George Bishop's The Illusion of Public Opinion is a must-read. It will be invaluable for many of us who have always suspected that there is less than meets the eye when we hear 'The latest poll numbers show. . . .' -- Robert Weissberg, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Illinois-Urbana an author of "Bad Students Not Bad Schools " The Illusion of Public Opinion is an important book that should be read by students of mass political behavior as well as practitioners. Bishop has thrown down the gauntlet, providing a broad and provocative review of the current state of opinion polling. Even those who reject his conclusions must engage his argument. * Perspectives on Politics * Provocative. * The Journal of Politics * The Illusion of Public Opinion dishes the dirt in a style that is as readable as it is substantive. * Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly * Bishop demonstrates strong examples of how public opinion polls fail to deliver a real understanding of the public, and he does so as a scholar who regularly interfaces with industry pollsters. By forging a case for reform, Bishop succeeds in creating a scholarly work that should open the weary eyes of many who already doubt whether the dizzying array of polling data and reportage thereof is trustworthy. He has also created a fertile source work for scholars critically examining larger structural questions of the media in society. * Journal Of Communication Inquiry * [Bishop] has done a service to both the polling profession and the academic survey research community by pulling together his own methodological contributions to the study of public opinion and thoroughly reviewing the challenges to estimating what the public thinks from Gallup to the present. * Public Opinion Quarterly * Professor Bishop does a wonderful job reviewing a broad range of academic studies and professional practices related to public opinion research and the presentation of public opinion results. Simply as a literature review, this book is invaluable. But the critique is something that the media, academics, and the public should take seriously. There is so much to learn in this book, and the writing style has made the book so accessible to a broad readership that I think it should be valuable even outside of the community of public opinion researchers and consumers. -- Richard L. Clark, University of Georgia The wealth of examples in Bishop's book is valuable in making clear to consumers of public opinion polls-which means all of us at one time or another-the many ways in which a poll datum needs to be looked at critically. * American Journal of Sociology * Bishop makes very convincing arguments regarding the shortcomings of public opinion measurement and usage. Further, his argum

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George F. Bishop is professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati.


Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 The Elusiveness of "Public Opinion" Chapter 3 Illusory Opinions on Public Affairs Chapter 4 Survey Questions and Reality Chapter 5 The Changing American Voter: Fact and Artifact Chapter 6 September 11th's Ephemeral Opinions Chapter 7 Ambiguities of Measurement Chapter 8 Spurious Impressions in the Press Chapter 9 Illusions of Causality: Asking Why Chapter 10 Improving the Measurement of Public Opinion