Public opinion polls or surveys assess public opinion. It is a form of opinion research designed to measure people’s thoughts and feelings about important social and political issues that affect everyday life. As marketing research aims to understand consumer preferences, beliefs, and behaviours; public opinion polls explore public concerns in society.
What are some of the characteristics of public opinion polls?
Assess the widespread public opinion
Provide broadly applicable results (respondents provide a composite view of the larger population)
Use many of the same techniques that are used in marketing research
Subject matter leans toward social or political (public) issues
Are conducted within a short timeframe due to the dynamic nature of society
Public opinion surveys are important because they educate policymakers, political candidates, the media and society (itself) of the public perceptions and behaviors towards broad-ranging issues. They may be used by governments to understand the effectiveness of policy and programs, by politicians to understand their constituent perspectives, by academic researchers to understand society, or by members of the public who consume polls performed by media outlets.
Another benefit of public opinion polling is that it encourages respondents to participate in the political process.
Respondents understand that they can express their opinions on public policy, social issues and influence government, public discourse and social issues.
Random sampling is the most common technique used by Asia Research Partners. Respondents are contacted and requested to participate in the survey. Quota sampling involves setting quotas, for example, of age and gender, and seeking out those people who, together, match those characteristics.