Polls are commonplace these days and are often reported on as if they are actual factual snapshots. Joe Carter provides some useful analysis on why polls are pretty much worthless:

Although opinion polls are often treated as if they were harmless detritus of the news-cycle, they are powerful tools for promoting overconfidence and slip-shod reasoning. Take, for instance, two of the worst types of polls—those that purportedly measure “favorability” and the “job approval rating” of politicians such as the president and members of Congress. Such polls might be useful if the general public were aware of the president and legislators’ duties, and if we could appeal to a single, objective standard to judge polls’ relevance and faithfulness to truth. But we don’t. Instead, polls create an illusion of assurance, allowing us to fool ourselves into thinking we have precisely quantified our vague qualitative judgments.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Tagged with:

Filed under: CulturePollsTom

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!