Free «Public Opinion Polls» Essay Sample

The article “Public Makes Distinctions on Genetic Research” presents the results of the research carried out by the Pew Research  Center. The researchers used phone interviews to survey the respondents. A total of 2002 adults participated in the poll. One of the most important results is that most (65%) Americans supported the idea of using stem cells, while 35% rejected it (Pew Research 1). Additionally, most of those who oppose the use of stem cells do so because of their religious beliefs. The majority of respondents (55%) oppose to cloning on the premise that it is morally wrong (Pew Research 1). These responses were also influenced by respondents’ religious beliefs, as well as level of their education: most opponents had not gone past high school level.


The only thing that I would change in administering the poll is doing it manually rather than through the phone. This would ensure the respondents are comfortable asking for clarification if they did not understand the question. Consequently, the credibility and accuracy of the research would also improve.

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The Question

One of the questions in the poll is:

            “All in all, which is more important… [READ, IN ORDER]

            Conducting stem cell research that might result in new medical cures

            [OR]Not destroying the potential life of human embryos involved in this research

            Don’t know/Refused.”(Pew Research19)

In my opinion, the question is crucial to this poll, since it improves respondents’ understanding of the subject matter. It provides two options for the research: either to save those who are already surviving, or create a new life. This is the most important part of the research, as the answer provides support and clarification to other research questions. The answers to this question are vital to the overall understanding of the research.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Polling

The advantage of polling is that it is faster to conduct and process, since the answer is either Yes or No. Polling requires little computation to analyze the data, which makes it cheap to conduct the whole research. One of the disadvantages of opinion polls is the difficulty in wording (Holtz, Christina, and Jesper 113). In any poll, researchers must use clear wording to ensure that the respondents understand the question. Different people may understand one and the same statement differently, thus distorting the real intention of the survey. In addition, technical problems associated with phone calls should not be ignored.


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