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Silent Voices
Author: Adam J. Berinsky

ISBN: 9780691123783
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 4 December 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3
Description:


Over the past century, opinion polls have come to pervade American politics. Despite their shortcomings, the notion prevails that polls broadly represent public sentiment. But do they? In "Silent Voices," Adam Berinsky presents a provocative argument that the very process of collecting information on public preferences through surveys may bias our picture of those preferences. In particular, he focuses on the many respondents who say they "don't know" when asked for their views on the political issues of the day.

Using opinion poll data collected over the past forty years, Berinsky takes an increasingly technical area of research--public opinion--and synthesizes recent findings in a coherent and accessible manner while building on this with his own findings. He moves from an in-depth treatment of how citizens approach the survey interview, to a discussion of how individuals come to form and then to express opinions on political matters in the context of such an interview, to an examination of public opinion in three broad policy areas--race, social welfare, and war. He concludes that "don't know" responses are often the result of...

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