Tag Archives: Prediction

The Mechanics of Election Polls #AAPOR 

Live note taking at #AAPOR in Austin Texas. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Moderator: Lisa Drew, two.42.solutions 
RAND 2016 Presidential Poll Baseline Data – PEPS; Michael S. Pollard, RAND Corporation Joshua Mendelsohn, RAND Corporation Alerk Amin, RAND Corporation

  • RAND is nonprofit private company
  • 3000 people followed at six points throughout the election, starting with a full baseline survey in December, before candidates really had an effect, opinions of political issues, of potential candidates, attitudes towards a range of demographic groups, political affiliation and prior voting, a short personality questionnaire
  • Continuously in field at first debate
  • RDD but recruited RDD and then offered laptops or Internet service if needed
  • Asked people to say their chance of voting, and of voting for democrat, republican, someone else, out of 100% 
  • Probabilistic polling gives an idea of where people might vote
  • In 2012 it was one of the most accurate popular vote systems
  • Many responders a have been surveyed since 2006 providing detailed profiles and behaviors
  • All RAND data is publicly available unless it’s embargoed 
  • Rated themselves and politicians on a liberal to conservative scale
  • Perceptions of candidates have chanced, Clinton, Cruz, and average democrat more conservative now, trump more liberal now; sanders, kasich, average republican didn’t move at all
  • Trump supporters more economically progressive than Cruz supporters
  • Trump supporters concerned about immigrants and support tax increases for rich
  • If they feel people like me don’t have a say in government, they are more likely to support trump
  • Sanders now rates higher than Clinton on “cares about people like me”
  • March – D was 52% and R was 40%, but we are six months aware from an election
  • Today – Clinton is 46% and Trump is 35%
  • Didn’t support trump in December but now do – Older employed white men born in US 
  • People who are less satisfied in life in 2014 more likely to support rump now
  • Racial resentment, white racists predict trump support [it said white ethnocentrism but I just can’t get behind hiding racism is pretty words]

Cross-national Comparisons of Polling Accuracy; Jacob Sohlberg, University of Gothenburg Mikael Gilljam, University of Gothenburg

  • Elections are really great [ made me chuckle, good introduction 🙂 ]
  • Seen a string of failures in many different countries, But we forget about accurate polls, there is a lot of variability
  • Are some elections easier than other? Is this just random variance? [well, since NO ONE uses probability sampling, we really don’t know what MOSE and MONSE is. ]
  • Low turnout is a problem 
  • Strong civil society has higher trust and maybe people will be more likely to answer a poll honestly
  • Electoral turnover causes trouble, when party support goes up and down constantly
  • Fairness of elections, when votes are bought, when processes and systems aren’t perfect and don’t permit equal access to voting
  • 2016 data
  • Polls work better when turnout is high, civil society is Truong, electoral stability is high, vote buying is low [we didn’t already know this?]
  • Only electoral turmoi is statistically significant in the Multivariate analysis

Rational Giving? Measuring the Effect of Public Opinion Polls on Campaign Contributions; Dan Cassino, Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • Millions of people have given donations, it’s easier now than ever before with cell phone and Internet donations
  • Small donors have given more than the large donors
  • Why is Bernie not winning when he has consistently out raised Hillary
  • What leads people to give money
  • Wealthy people don’t donate at higher rates
  • It’s like free to play apps – need to really push people to go beyond talking about it and then pay for it
  • Loyalty base giving money to the candidate they like, might give more to her if they see her struggling
  • Hesitancy based only give if they know they are giving to the right and iodate, so they wait
  • Why donate when your candidate seems to be winning
  • Big donors get cold called but no one gets personality phone calls if you’re poor
  • Horse race coverage is rational, coverage to people doing well, don’t really know about their policies
  • Lots of covereage on Fox News doesn’t mean someone is electable
  • People look at cues like that differently
  • In 2012 sometimes saw 5 polls every day, good for poll aggregators not good for people wanting to publicize their poll
  • You want a dynamic race for model variance
  • Used data from a variety of TV news shows, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC
  • Don’t HAVE to report donation under $200, many zero dollar contributions – weirdness needed to be cleaned out
  • Predict contributions will increase when Romney is threatened in the polls
  • Predict small contributions will increase in response to good coverage on Fox News
  • Fox statements matter for small contributors, doesn’t matter which direction
  • Network news doesn’t matter for small contributors
  • Big donor are looking for more electable candidates so if fox hates them then we know they’re electable and they get more money
  • Romney was a major outlier though, the predictions worked differently for him

Radical Market Research Idea #1: Banish probability sampling #MRX

I’ve talked about probability sampling before. Unless your population is your immediate family, your immediate colleagues, or your immediate classmates, chances are probability sampling is a theoretical idea. The premise behind probability sampling is that by generating a sample that approximates the population in important characteristics, you will be able to accurately predict population values with sample values.

So let me propose a better system. Forget probability sampling. Strive for predictive sampling. In this sense, select samples that consistently and accurately predict the phenomenon in which you are interested. If a bunch of twelve year olds standing outside the candy store accurately predict the weekly cast-off on American Idol, then it is a GREAT predictive sample. If a bunch of eighty year grammas accurately predict each state election, then it is a GREAT predictive sample. That is predictive sampling.

I truly don’t care what a sample looks like as long as it reliably and accurately predicts future behaviour. Isn’t that what you too are striving for? I think so. The trick is though, what exactly is the predictive sample? Whomever discovers that will be a wealthy person.

Measuring Without Needing to Ask: Adam de Paula #Netgain6 #MRIA

netgain mriaWelcome to my #Netgain6 MRIA live blogs. What happens at St. Andrews Conference Centre, gets blogged for all to read about. Each posting is published immediately after the speaker finishes. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any silly comments in [ ] are my own. Enjoy!


Behavioural Economics
Adam de Paula – Managing Director, Sentis Market Research, Inc
Measuring Without Needing to Ask: Using Implicit measures to Predict Choice

  • It’s not the consumers job to know what they want – Steve Jobs
  • People have no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing so they try to make something up that makes sense – Clotaire Rapaille [TOTALLY agree]
  • Surveys are about measuring explicit attitudes and behaviours
  • Explicit measures rely on conscious thought have limited predictive value
  • Implicit measures tap preferences and feelings indirectly
  • You can predict divorce over 3 years with non-verbal measures – eye rolling, sneering, silence, monosyllabic mutterings
  • Predict litigation with dominance and lack of concern
  • Predict career based on people’s names – Dennis more likely to be a dentist, Louis more likely to move to St. Louis – Unconsciously, we associate things with ourselves. Dennis won’t admit it but statistics will prove it.
  • BE is how people really make judgments and choices. The old model of people think through all the options is off the table now.
  • Implicit associations between words – old/weak, beauty/youth. Activation of one word, automatically activates the second word.
  • People are bad at accurately reporting on what has influenced them. We can prove people are influenced by the space or size but people won’t recognize that.
  • Group task – tap your left knee or right knee to indicate whether a word belongs to younger or older male [room full of tapping sounds now] Now task is good vs bad [quick tapping from everyone] Now task is young and good vs older and bad [woah …. tapping sounds are few and slow] . As tapping gets slower, people are having harder timing matching a picture to multiple words that may or may not represent a cohesive theme.
  • Great process for stereotyping research because people don’t feel comfortable saying what they really feel. There’s no social desirability here.
  • Useful conditions for implicit measures – quick judgments, many alternatives, early life attitudes
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