Polls, Bias, And Logical Fallacy: When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?

I’m playing catch up here, trying to find the articles I read before this was a subject worth jotting a few notes down about.

Bad poll questions, sloppy media interpretations

“We decided to develop a general panel called the Angus Reid Forum,” Angus says. “It’s got about 150,000 members.”…“We pay people to do surveys—they get from fifty cents to five dollars per survey,”

Angus Reid Strategies, one of the largest Canadian-owned polling companies (and newly subsumed under Vision Critical), now conducts the bulk of its research online, culling respondents for specific polls from an Internet forum of tens of thousands of willing Canadians. But Frank Graves, head of competitor EKOS Research Associates, suggests that this method results in some self-selection bias.

http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2008/03/angus-reid-slanted-backgrounder-on.html

http://www.catholicregister.org/item/18556-angus-reid-poll-reverses-consistent-findings-of-lifecanada-since-2002

http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/presentations/angus-reid-takes-sides.html

http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/presentations/what-pollster-didnt-ask.html

http://pioneers.themarknews.com/articles/8158-angus-reid-and-the-false-dilemma-fallacy/

Terms that came up in looking this over.

Confirmation Bias
False Paradox
selection bias.

sampling bias
false dilemna
false precision

http://books.google.com/books?id=gxmxG7iSkzgC&pg=PA320&lpg=PA320&dq=polling+bias+false+dilemma&source=bl&ots=oWT4BGATh6&sig=EJvdsPj3qXbq6VZnyZcog1wLVrg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cXcgVN-0Ee7GsQSswYKICg&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=polling%20bias%20false%20dilemma&f=false

Interesting that a democrat polling group was ranked highest in an election where a democrat won. As much as they’ll swear up and down they are unbiased, I suggest they know they are influential, and the very nature of their polling leads to biased results.

“Fordham University has published a ranking of the most accurate pollsters of the 2012 in terms of national trends, and (both) top spots were held by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, the North Carolina-based firm.”

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