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links for 2010-12-21

  • // If I were Alqaeda, I would just send bogus emails with plausible terror plans and make the Western Satan freak out, things like using supersoakers filled w/ gasoline to burn kittens. That's a plausible terror threat. We don't have enough FBI to protect all the kittens.
  • // Actual statistical research. My favorite.
  • Quote:"Results of two experimental studies described in this article constituted clear experimental demonstration of how polls influence votes. Findings showed that voters tended to vote for those who they were told were leading in the polls; furthermore, that these poll-driven effects on votes were substantial. Effects of polls on votes tended to be operative throughout a wide spectrum of initial (i.e., pre-poll) voter preferences ranging from undecided to moderately strong. There was a limit on poll effects, however, as noted in Study Two: Polls failed to influence votes when voter preferences were very strong to begin with.

    Additional findings of considerable interest showed that effects of polls were stronger for women than for men and also were stronger for more arousable (i.e., more emotional) and more submissive (or less dominant) persons. Especially noteworthy is my discussion of similarities and differences between the study methods and real- life political campaigns begin