Monday, October 1, 2012

The 9 Percent

You've probably already read this. Apparently, only about 9 percent of people respond to polls when called. That's an incredibly low amount, but makes sense. I don't know a lot of people who have ever been polled, and most people I talk to (myself included... wait, that came out wrong) actively avoid being polled. Per Slate, though, it seems that the random sampling manages to avoid being biased too much one way or the other, but it is still interesting to keep in mind.

Telephone polling is easy to ignore. I bet if I got on the Metro this Saturday and asked random people to marry me, provided I was not arrested for harassment, I could get a higher than 9 percent response rate (note: This is a response rate not rate of yes responses.) There's something about being asked questions in person that prompts people to respond more, even when the question is absurd. Maybe if the question is extremely absurd, it is easier to respond quickly and negatively than questions dealing with deeply held beliefs.

Of course, I can't say for sure more people would break my heart than respond to political polling, but I have a good feeling that they would. Maybe someone would like to spend some money on a study, for science?

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