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POQ Special Issues

Topics in Survey Measurement and Public Opinion - 2013 Special Issue


This special issue, edited by Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema, covers a range of topics relevant to measurement in surveys. These include investigations with obvious implications for practice, such as improving the measurement of voting (Holbrook and Krosnick), whether and where to place instructions in self-administered instruments (Redline), the impact of the location of an item and its response categories in a Web survey (Tourangeau, Couper, and Conrad), how to improve the design of list experiments (Glynn), and how to provide privacy to respondents using MP3 players (Chauchard). There is an exploration of how implementation in multiple modes might have contributed to measurement error in reporting of same-sex couples (DeMaio, Bates, and O’Connell) and a study of the meaning of vague quantifiers (Griffin). There are also studies of measurement that address theoretical issues with broader implications, including the fit between constructs and measures across cultural contexts (Freitag and Bauer), informed public opinion (Lauderdale), and political tolerance (Gibson). Finally, despite the growing importance of self-administered modes, interviewer-administered surveys continue to be important, and two papers investigate interviewers and interviewing (Belli, Bilgen, and Al Baghal; Sinibaldi, Durrant, and Kreuter).

The table of contents includes:


Benjamin E. Lauderdale
Does Inattention to Political Debate Explain the Polarization Gap between the U.S. Congress and Public?

Markus Freitag and Paul C. Bauer
Testing for Measurement Equivalence in Surveys: Dimensions of Social Trust across Cultural Contexts

James L. Gibson
Measuring Political Tolerance and General Support for Pro–Civil Liberties Policies: Notes, Evidence, and Cautions

Roger Tourangeau, Mick P. Couper, and Frederick G. Conrad
“Up Means Good”: The Effect of Screen Position on Evaluative Ratings in Web Surveys

Cleo Redline
Clarifying Categorical Concepts in a Web Survey

Allyson L. Holbrook and Jon A. Krosnick
A New Question Sequence to Measure Voter Turnout in Telephone Surveys: Results of an Experiment in the 2006 ANES Pilot Study

Jamie Griffin
On the Use of Latent Variable Models to Detect Differences in the Interpretation of Vague Quantifiers

Theresa J. DeMaio, Nancy Bates, and Martin O’Connell
Exploring Measurement Error Issues in Reporting of Same-Sex Couples

Adam N. Glynn
What Can We Learn with Statistical Truth Serum?: Design and Analysis of the List Experiment

Jennifer Sinibaldi, Gabriele B. Durrant, and Frauke Kreuter
Evaluating the Measurement Error of Interviewer Observed Paradata

Robert F. Belli, Ipek Bilgen, and Tarek Al Baghal
Memory, Communication, and Data Quality in Calendar Interviews

Simon Chauchard
Using MP3 Players in Surveys: The Impact of a Low-Tech Self-Administration Mode on Reporting of Sensitive Attitudes

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75th Anniversary Issue - 2011 Special Issue


The technological evolution (or revolution) of the past quarter century has changed how public opinion researchers gauge opinions and presumbably how citizens gather information to form opinions. The field grapples with how to combat response rates that fall far into the single digits, how to study targeted messages that come from the media that seem to evolve on a daily basis, and how to ensure polls that receive attention meet professional standards. These are overwhelming challenges that have the potential to fundamentally alter the practice of public opinion research. In the background always looms the larger question posed in the first issue about the potential deleterious consequences of public opinion. This issue addresses a careful reading of how we arrived at the current state of opinion research, the issues being debated today, and the current perspectives on what the future may hold. This special issue was edited by James N. Druckman and Nancy A. Mathiowetz.

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Total Survey Error – 2010 Special Issue


This special issue of POQ, edited by Paul P. Biemer and Lars Lyberg, focuses on total survey error.

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Understanding the 2008 Presidential Election - 2009 Special Issue


The strength of polls is not just in their ability to produce accurate numbers and predictions; it is in their ability to help us understand why the winning candidate prevailed. Of course, our ability to answer the substantive questions about the election depends on having methodologically sound polling data.

This special issue of POQ, edited by D. Sunshine Hillygus, deals with various aspects of public opinion in the 2008 presidential election, helping to move the discussion beyond the clamor for an accuracy "gold star" and toward a better understanding of the dynamics of this historic contest and the quality of polling in the campaign.

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Web Survey Methods - 2008 Special Issue


This special issue of POQ, edited by Mick P. Couper and Peter V. Miller, explores some of the many ways that the Internet can be used--whether alone or in combination with other methods--to conduct surveys.

Have Web surveys lived up the hope and expectations of some, or the fears of others? Some claimed that Web surveys would replace other modes of data collection (especially telephone surveys); others saw Web surveys contributing to the disintegration or dilution--if not total demise--of the survey enterprise. Neither of these extremes has come to pass. Web surveys, like other methods of survey data collection, have strengths and weaknesses. Much of the research over the past several years has focused on identifying these strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to overcome the former and exploit the latter. The papers in this special issue continue the trend.

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Cell Phone Numbers and Telephone Surveying in the U.S. - 2007 Special Issue


This special issue of POQ, edited by Paul J. Lavrakas, looks into the growing number of Americans who only use cell phones and the effect of this trend on surveying. Articles included in this free-access issue address topics such as the possible future inaccuracy of surveys using only landlines, the effect of the rising percentage of cell-only households on surveys, and the decline in younger respondents in landline-only surveys.

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