“Tell Me What Happened” & Other Stories

Storytelling is the ultimate goal of all research.  In the end, researchers of all kinds are in the business of understanding how people think, and what better way than to hear their stories.  Storytelling may sound like something only qualitative researchers first finally next after then lastshould care about but survey researchers, knowingly or not, are equally concerned about the stories people have to tell.  The brouhaha over Gallup’s failure to correctly predict the winner of the 2012 presidential election is a case in point.  One of the fundamental weaknesses that contributed to the Gallup polls favoring a Romney win is how Gallup went about determining likely voters, including respondents’ past voting behavior and how much attention they were paying to the election.  Like all pollsters, Gallup simply used the responses to these and other questions to calculate which respondents were most likely to vote in the national election.  One of the problems that Gallup ran into, however, is that “many” of the Obama voters claimed not to be paying much attention to the election which, of course, disqualified them as likely voters.  In essence, Gallup simply wanted to know each Read Full Text