The first volume examines the history of polling with an emphasis on the United States and issues in polling methodology. It also looks at various issues that have been the topic of numerous polls, such as abortion, the death penalty, and terrorism. The second volume examines polling in countries other than the U.S. Entries are signed and conclude with bibliographies of additional information.
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... based on studies from more than 50 countries across the world and in-depth case studies from the United States; Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Norway, the Western Balkans, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Despite their pervasiveness in American life, with subjects ranging from how citizens will vote in presidential elections to opinions about American Idol contestants, considerable misunderstanding exists about the conduct and interpretation of polls. Politicians, interest groups, political parties, advertisers, media outlets, and academics alike point to what the public has expressed through any number of public opinion polls to bolster their positions and arguments. Given the ever-increasing prevalence and frequent misinterpretation of polls, students need to become better consumers of poll results.
Sentiment analysis and opinion mining is the field of study that analyzes people's opinions, sentiments, evaluations, attitudes, and emotions from written language. It is one of the most active research areas in natural language processing and is also widely studied in data mining, Web mining, and text mining.
In democratic societies, opinion polls play a vital role. But it has been demonstrated that many people do not have an opinion about major issues--the "nonattitudes" problem. Also, the framing of questions in different ways can generate very different estimates of public opinion--the "framing" effect. Both dilemmas raise questions about the competence of ordinary citizens to play the role a democratic society ostensibly expects of them. Although the impact of some factors is well established, particularly political information and sophistication, much is yet to be understood.