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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses what has come to define public opinion for over the last seventy-five years – the grouping of individual opinions by quantitative analysis, surveys, and sampling – and describes the efforts to discover public opinion before the arrival of systematic surveys. It then presents a detailed review of the origins and institutionalization of scientific survey research from the 1930s until the 1950s, and, finally, discusses the changes that occurred since 1960, emphasizing several challenges and opportunities facing survey research.

Keywords: public opinion, individual opinions, quantitative analysis, surveys, sampling, systematic surveys, scientific survey research

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