Surveys or polls are normally conducted to determine the probable trends in a given population. Surveys may be conducted on entertainment (entertainment poll), politics (political polls) or general issues (general issue). Whichever the type, surveys encompass random selections of representative samples.
Entertainment, political and general polls are viable ways of establishing the belief of larger populations by utilizing representative samples.
Entertainment surveys, unlike other surveys, cover issues pertaining to entertainment. As a result, the tendency of biases in the corresponding results is common. Entertainment survey may range from arts to digital surveys (Ross, 2013). The process of entertainment survey entails selection of random samples of users or people connected to the entertainment facet under study. For instance, in the digital survey in the article by Alexander Ross, the samples are mobile phone users, internet users and Facebook users. The random samples are representative of a larger number of digital users.
Digital surveys are not normally representative of the perceptions of the overall population. Many people are utilizing the digital entertainment. Thus, it is difficult to project the perceptions of a larger picture by looking at a sample of few people. The digital environment is also affected by the “class” factor. The users of the internet are grouped into particular groups depending on the complexity of the digital services used (Ross, 2013). The perceptions of Facebook users may differ from perceptions of Twitter followers. Thus, entertainment survey is relative, and information provided can have varied perceptions.
In an article by Alexander, the number of commercial purchases conducted through Facebook increased with 34% admitting to having made purchases through the site (Ross, 2013). However, the figure may not be representative of the total population. Companies engaging in entertainment polls face the problem of validity of surveys as compared with polls from companies like Gallup.
The candidates that vie for political posts in national, regional or local elections normally utilize political surveys to measure the probability of succeeding of failing. Similarly, firms with particular agendas use polling results to study the viable techniques of delivering messages and organizational goals to voters (Gallup, n.d.). Political poll refers to the process by which the polling companies measure the varied opinions of voters with a view to projecting the likely opinions of the larger population of a region or a country.
Political surveys may include random samples whereby the selection of respondents is based on ratios. Names of participants and respective contacts are selected from a list based on prearranged ratio. The selected respondents are representative of the overall population of a given region. The polling team usually contacts the chosen respondents through phone (Gallup, n.d.). The polling team asks particular questions that serve to evoke beliefs and thoughts of respondents. The team analyses the collected information to determine the beliefs and perceptions of the overall population.
Gallup polls aim at representing the opinions of a given sample of individuals who have similar opinions to the entire adult population of America, if such interviews would be possible. For instance, Gallup conducted polls to determine the population’s approval of the Obama administration. Of the 1500 American adults utilized in the polls, 39% exhibited approval for the job conducted by Obama administration. On the other hand, 56% portrayed disapproval for Obama’s job. The results tally against the total adult population of nearly 240 million. Though the portion is relatively minute small, it is representative of the total population (Gallup, n.d.). The results reflect the public opinion regarding the job of Obama’s administration. Obama’s government can utilize the results to make necessary improvements in administrative duties.
General surveys are polls conducted to determine the opinion of the public regarding particular issues, with the exception of politics. Normally, the sample sizes for the general poll may differ from the sample sizes of political surveys (Gallup, 2011). One typical case is Gallup polls to determine the confidence index of the American population in the economy.
The survey adopted the method of telephone interviews as for the political polls. However, the polling team divided the respondents into two categories: respondents using landlines (50%) and respondents using cellphones (50%). The survey covered responses from telephone interviews for a random sample size of 15,168 adults (Gallup, 2011). The sample size comprised of portions of the population with a minimum age of18 years. The survey covered populations in all the states of America (50 states), with the inclusion of the District of Columbia. The selections of the telephone numbers followed a random-digital technique. Additionally, the selection of telephone numbers regarded timezone quotas.
Of the sampled size, 41% of Americans feel that the economy is improving while 54% feel that the economy is deteriorating. The results are representative of the overall perception of the population. General poll results are important for stakeholders, especially in economic issues. Through the polls, the respective stakeholders can undertake to make favorable adjustments of due processes. Similarly, the stakeholders can assess the performance of the economic environment (Gallup, 2011). The polls also ascertain ideas regarding crucial national issues that might prompt rapid reactions. Gallup’s general poll offers more insight on the perceptions of the population compared to the political poll. The procedure of conduction of the survey creates confidence in clients. Consequently, Gallup’s image improves and attracts more clients.
The sample sizes used in the general survey can adequately reflect the belief of the populations. On the other hand, the political and entertainment samples were relatively small. Small sample proportions depict minimal reflection of overall populations while huge sample sizes provide good estimates.
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