Inside the poll: Question phrasing matters
By Kenna Caprio
Continuing its “Politics on the PublicMind” series, FDU’s PublicMind Poll and the College at Florham Library hosted David Redlawsk, Director of Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, on November 17.
Using two recent polls concerning same-sex marriage, Redlawsk talked about how phrasing questions and existing attitudes can affect results.
Support for same-sex marriage has been on an upward trend, Redlawsk said, and some of that may be due to the “framing the nature of the question.” For instance, referring to the issue as same-sex marriage or calling it “marriage equality” can make a difference. Polls have shown that more people are in favor if the issue is referred to as marriage equality, he said.
The series’ theme this semester is “Surveying the Polls.” Previous speakers have included Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute; Patrick Murray, Founding Director, Monmouth University Polling Institute; and Daniel Cassino, Director of Experiemental Research of FDU’s PublicMind poll.
The next “Politics on the PublicMind” event will feature Paul Donato, Executive VP and Chief Research Officer for Nielsen, the company that examines what consumers watch and buy. Donato will speak on December 1 at the FDU Library, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, N.J.