Polling Experts Cast Doubt on Widely Cited College Free Speech Survey

Lois Beckett, reporting for The Guardian:

Polling experts are raising concerns about a new survey thatfound nearly 20% of American college students believe it’s appropriate to use violence to silence offensive speech. […]

However, his survey was not administered to a randomly selected group of college students nationwide, what statisticians call a “probability sample”. Instead, it was given to an opt-in online panel of people who identified as current college students.

“If it’s not a probability sample, it’s not a sample of anyone, it’s just 1,500 college students who happen to respond,” Zukin said, calling it “junk science”.

“It’s an interesting piece of data,” Michael Traugott, a polling expert at the University of Michigan’s Center for Political Studies, said. “Whether it represents the proportion of all college students who believe this is unknown.”

Important follow-up to this piece I posted earlier in the week.

Friday, 22 September 2017