A Speaker Series előadássorozat következő vendége Amnon Cavari (Reichman University) az alábbi előadással:
Survey Nonresponse and Mass Polarization in the United States - What we can (and cannot) infer from survey data today
The political polarization of Americans has attracted significant scholarly, media, and foundation attention in recent years, with growing concern about what this trend means for American democracy. Therefore, getting mass polarization right is a primary task for political scientists and should be a concern to the news industry. Recent studies question whether declining response rates bias the perceived level of polarization of Americans. At issue are the sources of declining response rates—declining contact rates, associated mostly with random polling mechanisms, or declining cooperation rates, associated with personal preferences, knowledge, and interest in politics—and their differing effects on measures of polarization. Assessing 158 surveys (2004–2018), I show that declining cooperation is the primary source of declining response rates and that it leads to survey overrepresentation of people who are more engaged in politics. Analyzing individual responses to 1,223 policy questions in those surveys, I further show that, conditional on the policy area, this survey bias overestimates or underestimates the partisan divide among Americans. Simply put, we are mismeasuring one of the most heated topics in political science today. More broadly, I suggest that low response rates, which are a staple of current polling, bias our understanding of political and social life that we, as researchers, are tasked with. I further argue that the onus is on the researcher to justify generalizations based on survey data that relies on the selective group captured in samples with low response rates.