- The Oxford Handbook of Polling and Survey Methods
- Introduction to Polling and Survey Methods
- Total Survey Error
- Longitudinal Surveys: Issues and Opportunities
- Mixing Survey Modes and Its Implications
- Taking the Study of Political Behavior Online
- Sampling for Studying Context: Traditional Surveys and New Directions
- Questionnaire Science
- Exit Polling Today and What the Future May Hold
- Sampling Hard-to-Locate Populations: Lessons from Sampling Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
- Reaching Beyond Low-Hanging Fruit: Surveying Low-Incidence Populations
- Improving the Quality of Survey Data Using CAPI Systems in Developing Countries
- Survey Research in the Arab World
- The Language-Opinion Connection
- Issues in Polling Methodologies: Inference and Uncertainty
- Causal Inference with Complex Survey Designs: Generating Population Estimates Using Survey Weights
- Aggregating Survey Data to Estimate Subnational Public Opinion
- Latent Constructs in Public Opinion
- Measuring Group Consciousness: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
- Cross-National Surveys and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems: When Country/Elections Become Cases
- Graphical Visualization of Polling Results
- Graphical Displays for Public Opinion Research
- Survey Experiments: Managing the Methodological Costs and Benefits
- Using Qualitative Methods in a Quantitative Survey Research Agenda
- Integration of Contextual Data: Opportunities and Challenges
- Measuring Public Opinion with Social Media Data
- Expert Surveys as a Measurement Tool: Challenges and New Frontiers
- The Rise of Poll Aggregation and Election Forecasting
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes the rise of online surveys as a research tool for social scientists. First it provides an analytical framework for understanding how survey mode matters to social science research. It examines the consequences of the trade-off between quality and cost for an entire research program or literature. For survey methodologists, quality boils down to the ability to test a hypothesis using the survey. Second, the chapter examines the controversy over the use of opt-in Internet polls rather than traditional polls. Recent studies have found that high-quality online surveys produce estimates that can be as reliable as those from traditional polls. Using data from over 300 state-level opt-in Internet subsamples from the CCES, the chapter measures the amount of error in a commonly used approach for conducting opt-in Internet surveys and compares it to traditional probability samples. It concludes by considering how to make wiser choices about survey mode.
Stephen Ansolabehere is the Frank G. Thompson Professor of Government at Harvard University where he studies elections, democracy, and the mass media. He is a Principal Investigator of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and his principal areas are electoral politics, representation, and public opinion.
Brian F. Schaffner is the Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies at Tufts University. His research focuses on public opinion, campaigns and elections, political parties, and legislative politics.
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