Most surveys of attitudes and opinions have two stages: The first is drawing a random sample of dwelling units, and the second is selecting one person within a dwelling unit to interview. Leslie Kish published a landmark article in the Journal of the American Statistical Association in 1949 that described a rigorous, almost pure probability method of sampling persons within households to be surveyed. He named two basic conditions: (1) There must be a known probability of inclusion (excluding zero) of each adult in the population, and (2) it must be a practical and efficient procedure to implement.

Although survey data collection at that time often was conducted in person, Kish's plan is suitable for telephone surveys as well. It is accomplished by the interviewer's listing ...

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