Many surveys are conducted in order to describe how large groups of people feel about a particular issue.
Pollsters may want to know which issues are important to voters in an upcoming election.
A school principal may want to know how parents, teachers, or students feel about an issue so that he may make a good decision for the school. Principals must make decisions about bus routes and times, school lunches, and extracurricular activities. Knowing how parents, teachers, or students feel about those things helps the principal make a better decision.
Community leaders may also use surveys to make decisions about how to allocate resources. Parks, libraries, and museums are all important features of any community. Making sure that people who live in the community have access to these features is important for decision making.
In this resource, you will investigate different ways to survey a group of people and describe the attitudes and beliefs of that group. You will also look for ways to make sure that the results of the survey accurately reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the group. This accuracy is very important. Otherwise, you may end up with a situation like what President Harry S. Truman faced in 1948, when even though he was re-elected, a newspaper printed a headline proclaiming "Dewey Defeats Truman."
Source for images use in this section:
President Truman at Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri with "Dewey Defeats Truman headline,” Harry S Truman Library and Museum
All other images, Clipart