Vocabulary Terms

Public opinion is measured through scientific polling, and the results of public opinion polls influence public policies and institutions.

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Margin of error
A confidence interval stating that the sampled value is very likely to be within a certain range of the actual population's value
Random sample
The notion that any person surveyed is as likely to be chosen as any other person in the polling universe
Representative sample
The idea that a sample reflecting characteristics of a population; usually more than 1000 respondents
Scientific polling
A method of gathering public opinion using random sampling and surveys of people