Dictionary of Polling: The Language of Contemporary Opinion Research

By Michael L. Young | Go to book overview
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AAPOR The oldest and largest of the professional polling associations. AAPOR is the American Association of Public Opinion Research. It was founded in 1940 and now has about 1,400 members. AAPOR is made up of individuals rather than organizations. Its membership includes both academics and practitioners--who poll for business, politicians, government, and the mass media ( AAPOR, 1988, 1989: Directory of Members).

"AAPORIANS" hold an annual conference in the spring of each year. These meetings feature panel presentations of scholarly papers; and lively plenary sessions which focus on a current issue in public opinion research. AAPOR is probably best known for two things: the publication of Public Opinion Quarterly, and the AAPOR Code of Ethics.

Public Opinion Quarterly is acknowledged as the leading scholarly journal on polls and polling. Its fall issue each year contains a summary of the proceedings of the AAPOR annual conference. The AAPOR Code of Ethics was adopted in 1968. The actual code (incorporated as Article IX of the association's bylaws) has three separate sections (American Association for Public Opinion Research, 1988). Section Three, regarding disclosure, is the most specific. It requires that all facts necessary to interpret polls intelligently be disclosed. These include five key items: sponsor identity, question wording, sample characteristics, interviewing techniques used and the dates interviews were conducted ( AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics and Practices), ( AAPOR, 1988:ii-iv).

AAPOR is one of three professional associations formed to promote and improve polling. The other two are the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP), founded in 1968, and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), founded in 1975. AAPOR has the broadest base of the three. NCPP members are mostly larger polling organizations, and CASRO includes members who do a substantial amount of market research ( Turner and

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