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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

#265: Smart-aleck online poll choices

On sfgate.com, they have a daily poll related to the current news and I find it interesting to see what people think, but they always have some smart-aleck choice(s) that I feel skews the results because some people are more apt to pick the snide choice rather than a normal one, especially for politically-charged topics. Take today's poll, which reflects the latest news of Ford offering buyouts to 38,000 employees (I'm jealous). The question is "How much of a buyout would you need to leave your job?" The choices are: a) 10-99k b) more than 100k c) wouldn't take one d) if I worked for Ford, just about anything would do. I don't like that "d" is non-responsive to the question and yet they offer it as a choice. It cheapens the poll. Not that it's scientific or anything, but people took the time to answer honestly and these "d" answerers are screwing up the results. But I blame sfgate.com for allowing them to pick the snide answer in the first place. In this case, only 12% picked the non-responsive answer, but that's just because the issue wasn't really a hot-button one. BTW, I didn't even pick a choice for this poll since my selection wasn't there. I'd be pretty cheap to get rid of; free checking for life is all I ask (no direct deposit required) Severity: 2

2 comments:

Andy said...

Online polls are a total crock. And I really hate when newspapers or TV news shows publicize the results - as if they actually meant something. This is just another example of why I think the US news media is almost completely worthless.

Vicki said...

Americans love a good survey. It makes us feel like our mainstream values and opinions are scientific!!!