Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not
The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle […]
Government Surveillance: A Question Wording Experiment
To better understand how the manner in which the government’s surveillance program is described affects public evaluations, the Pew Research Center conducted a question wording experiment.
How Pew Research conducted its national LGBT community survey
Why did Pew Research decide to conduct an LGBT-specific survey? We know from our surveys of the general public that there’s been a sharp increase in support for same-sex marriage and in societal acceptance of homosexuality over the past decade. Of course, we’re on the cusp of an important historical and cultural moment with the […]
Polling when public attention is limited: Different questions, different results
Different outcomes in different polls about the subpoenas served on the Associated Press in a Justice Department leak investigation were a case study in the challenges pollsters face in a breaking news environment when public attention and information is relatively limited.
A Comparison of Results from Surveys by the Pew Research Center and Google Consumer Surveys
As internet use grows– whether through a traditional computer, tablet, gaming device or cell phone – new techniques are being developed to conduct social research and measure people’s behavior and opinion while they are online.
What is the Value of a ’Generic” Candidate or Ballot in Polls?
Pollsters sometimes match a “generic” Republican or Democratic candidate against an incumbent, or use a generic ballot to forecast which party is ahead in congressional elections. How to read these polls.
Party Affiliation and Election Polls
In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look.
How the Pew Research Center Conducts Its Surveys Abroad
James Bell, Director of International Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, explains the methodology used by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project to assure the quality and accuracy of surveys conducted abroad.
Survey Research, Its New Frontiers and Democracy
Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center and president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, explores the threats and opportunities in the field of survey research, and discusses steps that can be taken to help keep survey research relevant for democracy.