Describes Sampling and explains some
of its mysteries.
IN EARLIER CHAPTERS I said that the pollsters have failed to agree on what they mean by "public opinion," and that, save in trying to predict the results of elections, the operations they perform do not constitute measurement. What they hope to measure comes into being only in terms of the instruments they use. In endeavoring to perfect their instruments the pollsters have performed Herculean efforts. Foundations interested in the social sciences have assisted. There has been great research activity in the universities. The literature on methodology is enormous, and the pollsters, as could have been expected, have developed a terminology that is understandable only within the guild. They have thus met one requirement that President Lowell said was essential before a subject could become a "science." The language the scientists used in speaking to each other must be incomprehensible to a man with only an ordinary education.
The student of politics, or the interested citizen who is not engaged himself in endeavoring to measure, need have little concern with the methodological refining that has been accomplished and with the refinements that are still in prospect. He can recall to himself the