A great number of information is gathered by polls, and they are also where statistics come from. Polls are great; however, information gathered by a poll is not always true. They can be misleading in many different ways, like through wording, sample size or choice, asking the wrong questions, or asking difficult questions that the respondents may feel badly answering truthfully. In Kenneth R. Weiss’s Los Angeles Times article, “Population Growth Is Threat to Other Species, Poll Respondents Say,” he discusses the outcome of a specific poll made on behalf of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity. The survey found that “nearly two-thirds of American voters believe that human population growth is driving other animal species to extinction and that if the situation gets worse, society has a “moral responsibility to address the problem.’” The survey was made by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, which is unlike other environmental groups in that they have focused on the growing size of human population as part of their campaign to save wildlife. Knowing the organization that created the poll had a desire for a specific outcome, their statistics could be misleading.
In the article, Weiss wrote “depending how the question was phrased, 57% to 64% of respondents said population growth was having an adverse effect.” Fifty-seven to sixty-four is a big change in percentages, and it shows how much wording can affect the outcome of a survey. The respondents to the survey were “American Voters” however do not specify on the location or status from which they came from. In order to get a good rounded sample of people age, location, race, economic status, and many other factors have to be calculated.
Polls have great influence, and statistics carry a lot of power in an argument, however can be easily misleading.
“60% of the time, it works every time.” –Anchorman