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The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945

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BuyFindarrow_forward

The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945
Textbook Problem

Review the discussion of the 1948 Gallup Poll that predicted that Thomas Dewey would defeat Harry Truman for president. What are some ways Gallup could have modified his quota sample design to avoid the error?

Summary Introduction

Introduction

Quota sampling attempts to create a sample that represents each demographic of a population. Gallup could have used a probability sampling method instead, such as representativeness, or the equal probability of selection method.

Explanation

Answer and explanation

(This question calls for a subjective answer. This is an example of an appropriate response.)

Gallup made a mistake in 1948 when he predicted that Dewey would defeat Truman in the presidential election. The main reason for the failure was that Gallup had not taken into account the fact that many people moved to cities after World War 2. In addition to that, he was using census data from 1940, the most recent available to him. He could have avoided the mistake by using a probability sampling method instead of the quota method. The quota method tries to make the sample represent every demographic in the country, and since Gallup used prewar data to make his sample, so urban dwellers were underrepresented. One probability sampling method is representativeness, which uses inferential data to help make the sample more representative of different demographics. Another method Gallup could have used is equal probability of selection, or simply having a list of people and selecting them at random in a way that gives each person the same probability of being picked at any given time.

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