How the Gallup Poll Works

Topics: Sampling, Opinion poll, Gallup poll Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: October 6, 2008
How Does The Gallup Poll Work

The Gallup Poll is one of the most recognized and revered polls used to interpret public opinion. It is used to guage public opinion on various political, social and economic issues as well as other controversial topics. The Gallup Poll is often found to be accurate in its polling of events such as elections, which is why it is considered the definitive poll by most organizations. The Gallup Poll is conducted by the Gallup organization. The goal of The Gallup Poll is to get the same responses from its sample population that it would if it actually went out and asked all members of the actual population. They conduct the poll using a method of random sampling under the principal of equal probability of selection. Which means that every member of the population has an equal oppurtunity to be selected for the sample. This type of sampling makes for a better representation of the population and therefore a more accurate poll. When conducting a poll, Gallup first identifies and describes the population for which its poll is geared toward. For instance, if they were doing a poll for basketball fans then the individuals who they would want to poll would be basketball fans. Polling baseball fans would not produce an accurate representation for a poll on basketball fans. After the population to be polled is identified, Gallup then chooses a method to randomly sample the population. The prefrerred method of Gallup is random digit dialing. Random digit dialing is the process of taking all the telephone numbers in an area for example ,the United States, and randomly calling them. This type of sampling ensures that the poll is unbiased. The number of individuals that constitute an adequate sample for the Gallup Poll is 1,000. Sampling a number larger then that has been found to not increase the accuracy of the results of the poll and polling more individuals would not justify the expense. No sample however is 100 percent accurate and...
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