Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people's attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.

With over fifty chapters written by distinguished international researchers, both academic and from the commercial sector, this Handbook is designed to:

Give the reader an overview of the most important concepts included in and surrounding the term ‘public opinion’ and its application in modern social research; Present the basic empirical concepts for assessing public opinion and opinion changes in society; Provide an overview of the social, political and legal status of public opinion research, how it is perceived by the public and by journalists, and how it is used by governments; Offer a review of the role and use of surveys for selected special fields of application, ranging from their use in legal cases to the use of polls in marketing and campaigns.

The SAGE Handbook of Public Opinion Research provides an indispensable resource for both practitioners and students alike.

Codes of Ethics and Standards in Survey Research

Tom W.Smith

Standards come in many forms and are created, disseminated, and enforced through various mechanisms. They range from the informal to the legally obligatory and are formed and applied in many different ways. This chapter addresses a number of issues related to standards. First it examines the major types of standards, including common or customary practices, those of professional and trade associations, those of standards organizations, and those of legal authorities. Second, it examines the types of provisions included in the codes established by professional and trade associations, including those that are ethical, disclosure, technical and definitional, and procedural. Third, it looks at the major existing professional and trade associations, focusing on examples of existing professional and ...

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