Surveys… the marketplace of the mind.

April 28, 2006 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

Here is a post I worte in reaction to a blog I read; It was all about a survey question being formulated by a person commsioning the survey.

Ok… they are after all paying to get reaction to a specific topic. The issue is propriety; but that not the point of that blog.
Anyhow; surveys are a business, at issue on the blog I posted my comments to were the fact they showed growing numbers for the Philippine President Arroyo.

http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=866#comments
" Polls are polls and only numbers but they do reflect opinion of a moment, But, I must say it is an accurate “feeling” of a lot of people on this mater I have come across in my work. But Polls change- opinions change and issues change all the time.

My Dad, George Cohen, did surveys with the company he ran Robot statistics a long time ago; He often is mentioned when people go back to old politics and pre-martial law politics.
.
So you might say, I grew up on surveys and tabulation and interpretation seeing him get urgent phone calls and seeing them burn the midnight oil a lot when I was a kid.

So, yes- at that moment in time- that was the opinion for that question; surveys are business and people subscribe to them. They follow certain rules and ethics and few reliable surveyors of public opinion would ever want to be accused of being biased. No one will hire you if you are. But questions, do represent a legitimate point or idea people are seeking a response to – if some people don’t like the answer.

then go out a do another survey. ask a different question! And see if there is a different answer. But, never ever be prisoner to surveys in ones actions; these are guides of opinion at specific time and place and on a issue.

A survey is not a divine proclamation from a mountain top. Just a sampling of a idea, issue, or thought.

On media; I work in it, yes it is a business, it does make money for the owners and the corporations that own the franchises or newspapers but writers, producers, opinion columnists and others working in it sometimes forget this.

Unless; of course the media outlet is a cooperative but even they need to earn. Or a non-profit media outlet or something of a cause oriented group’s or government or non-government organizations information unit.
Even government has media Also does the groups against government it is always after all a battle. for the minds and hearts of peoples opinion.

All these read or report or look at surveys as way to get the pulse of opinion. So as my Dad often told us; when we were kids, opinion is a business and being able to gauge it be it as salesman, a government leader, or as a person. It is always good to know what people think and what is needed in order to be able to gauge if your product will sell in the marketplace of the mind.

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