Opinion Surveys Quiz

Opinion Surveys Quiz Photo Credit: Clipart.com


Answer the following questions based on what you've learned.

  1. In the context of an opinion survey, a “random sample” is:
    a) A subset of a larger population in which each member of that larger population had the same chance of being selected.
    b) At least one-third the size of the total sample.
    c) A group of people who are not related or known to each other.
    d) Unpredictable and purposeless.
  2. Why do most opinion surveys NOT reach out to every member of the group being
    a) Because then it would not include a random sample.
    b) Because it is hard to know the real size of the full group being studied.
    c) Because the people doing the survey are lazy.
    d) Because that would be too costly.
  3. Why did the Literary Digest postcard poll of subscribers in 1936 predict that Alf Landon would win the Presidential election, which Franklin D. Roosevelt won by a landslide?
    a) Voters changed their minds at the last minute.
    b) The Digest poll only included its own subscribers, and this was not a representative sample of the U.S. voting population.
    c) Although 2.3 million people voted by returning postcards, this sample was not large enough to be accurate.
  4. Which of the following elementary school science fair projects is most likely to offer a reliable analysis of student opinion?
    a) A student asks her friends to take part in a taste test to determine which brand of cola is preferred.
    b) A student uses class lists to randomly select fellow students to take part in a taste test to determine which brand of cola is preferred.
    c) A student stands outside the school and asks the first ten students who come out to take part in a taste test to determine which brand of cola is preferred.
  5. Which of the following telephone surveys does NOT have an obvious flaw?
    a) A telephone poll to residents of a city bordering Mexico, asking in English whether America should have English as its official language.
    b) A postcard in a city magazine that asks about favorite local restaurants and that offers a random chance for a gift certificate to those who complete the survey and mail in the card.
    c) A telephone poll of religious beliefs that surveys a random sample of the American population.
    d) A survey to determine the most popular tennis star, conducted online at the website of a television cable channel that specializes in sports.
    e) A political survey in which respondents are asked to send in money to support a cause.
  6. True or false: Interviews with 1,000 American adults can reflect the opinions of more than 210 million American adults, with only a small margin of error if the sample is randomly selected.
    a) True.
    b) False.
  7. Which poll question does NOT have obvious bias in its wording?
    a) Do you support the City Council’s proposed ban on handguns, since handguns are responsible for many accidental deaths each year?
    b) How do you stand on City Council’s proposed ban on handguns?
    c) Do you oppose the City Council’s proposed ban on handguns, which would violate the Second Amendment?
  8. Which factors can influence the answers people give to poll questions?
    a) The words used in the poll questions.
    b) The order in which questions are asked.
    c) Both a and b.
    d) Neither a nor b.
  9. A poll in which all visitors to a website are invited to vote probably does not offer valid data because:
    a) The voting sample is self-selected.
    b) The computer program is likely to miscalculate the responses.
    c) Votes sent over the Internet often get lost.
    d) All of the above.
    e) None of the above.
  10. A margin of error:
    a) Is expressed as a percentage.
    b) Represents the range of possible results that would be received if multiple random samples of the population were polled.
    c) Exists for every poll in which a sample rather than the entire population is polled.
    d) Does not reflect all the possible error that may be introduced in a poll.
    e) All of the above.
    f) None of the above.
  11. If a poll is said to have a margin of error of 3 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent, this means that:
    a) Conducting the poll on other random samples of the population would yield responses within 3 percent of the given responses, 95 percent of the time.
    b) Only 3 percent of those who were contacted refused to participate in the poll, and 95 percent of the people polled are confident of their answers.
    c) Respondents to the poll probably gave wrong answers 3 percent of the time on 95 percent of the questions.
  12. Which of the following statements are true?
    a) As a sample size increases, the sampling error percentage decreases.
    b) When 90 percent of a sample answers “yes” to a question, the sampling error is lower than for the 10 percent of a sample that answers “no.”
    c) Both a and b are true.
    d) Neither a nor b are true.
  13. Response bias may be caused by:
    a) A respondent who gives a dishonest answer, for any reason.
    b) An unscrupulous pollster who words questions so as to obtain desired responses.
    c) The wording of a question that confuses, misleads, or influences respondents.
    d) All of the above.
    e) None of the above.
  14. Which of the following introduces error into a poll result?
    a) Nonresponse.
    b) Chance.
    c) Sampling error.
    d) Selection bias.
    e) All of the above.
    f) None of the above.
  15. When poll results are weighted, this means that:
    a) The results are very significant.
    b) The tabulated responses are multiplied by proportions so that the sample more accurately reflects some characteristic of the whole population, such as gender or political party affiliation.
    c) Survey answers of “very much agree” or “very much disagree” are awarded more points compared to answers of “agree,” “disagree,” or “not sure.”
  16. Which of these surveys does NOT have an obvious flaw?
    a) A survey to predict which candidate will win the party nomination that is tabulated after one of the top three candidates dropped out.
    b) A poll that asks people whether they participate in polls.
    c) A poll on favorite flavor at an ice cream parlor, based on the flavors for ice cream cones ordered by customers on a day when chocolate chip is out of stock.
    d) A ballot vote for favorite teacher at a school where class size varies from 15 to 28 and the class of the teacher voted “favorite” wins a pizza party.
    e) An exit poll of voters combined with a telephone survey of absentee voters.
  17. Which of the following has the features of a push poll?
    a) A telephone survey asking if people are aware that a political candidate was treated for mental illness ten years ago.
    b) A telephone survey to thousands of households; the telemarketing firm conducting the poll does not tabulate the results.
    c) Both a and b.
    d) Neither a nor b.
  18. The bandwagon effect, the underdog effect, strategic voting, and the boomerang effect are:
    a) Terms that describe the effects polls themselves may have on public opinion.
    b) Theories that have been definitively confirmed.
    c) Both a and b.
    d) Neither a nor b.
  19. Context is important when reporting poll results. Which factor is NOT part of the
    essential context?
    a) A table of contents.
    b) Other credible and recent polls on the same topic.
    c) Who conducted the poll.
    d) Sampling methodology.
    e) Recent events surrounding the topic of the poll.
  20. Methods to randomly select survey participants do NOT include:
    a) Geographic area probability sampling
    b) Random digit dialing
    c) Opt-in participation
    d) Block sampling

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