Political opinion polls are funny things. A recent poll suggests that Americans are much less concerned about global warming than they were a couple years ago. What happened? The science hasn’t changed, and the world isn’t putting out any fewer greenhouse gases.
It seems that respondents must simply be distracted by other things — the economic crisis, perhaps, seems more important now. But when a pollster calls a survey respondent, other distractions are at play as well. There might be a screaming baby in the house. Or perhaps the respondent is missing his favorite TV show and isn’t really thinking about his answers.
We wondered if we could affect poll responses just by modifying the setting in which the poll is taken. We’ve created a couple different versions of the same poll. Some allow you to focus your attention completely on the poll responses, but others ask you to do other tasks at the same time. Will that have any impact on the results? There’s only one way to find out.
As usual, the study is brief, with about 15 questions. It should take only a few minutes to complete. You have until Thursday, October 29 to complete your response. There is no limit on the number of respondents. Don’t forget to come back next week for the results!
(Just a reminder: All Casual Fridays studies are non-scientific. This doesn’t mean we can’t use scientific principles to assess what’s going on, but we can’t make general claims based on the results)