- 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
Many of the most important constructs in public opinion research are abstract, latent quantities that cannot be directly observed from individual questions on surveys. Examples include ideology, political knowledge, racial prejudice, and consumer confidence. In each of these examples, individual survey questions are merely noisy indicators of the theoretical quantities that scholars are interested in measuring. This chapter describes a number of approaches for measuring latent constructs such as these at both the individual and group levels. It also discusses a number of substantive applications of latent constructs in public opinion research. Finally, it discusses methodological frontiers in the measurement of latent constructs.
Christopher Warshaw is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. His areas of research are American politics, representation, public opinion, state and local politics, environmental politics and policy, and statistical methodology.
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