POLPAN Seminar: ‘A New Approach to Differentiation of Public Opinion’

During the POLPAN Seminar on October 17th, Professor Tadeusz Krauze (Hofstra University) presented a talk on “A New Approach to Differentiation of Public Opinion.”

Abstract:

We present some concepts and tools for investigating the differentiation of public opinion. The concepts are defined on the basis of survey results. Four concepts are fundamental: a) discordance of answers to a specific question given by a pair of respondents; b) the distance between a pair of respondents; c) the disagreement on a given question (measure of controversy); d) dissensus, or the discordance between all pairs of respondents to all questions. Two results are formulated and justified for each of the four concepts: a1) aggregation of scale points; a2) the loss of information, validity and measurement errors; b1) the probability density function for distance and its nearly-normal distribution; b2) extreme distances; c1) controversy and variance; c2) maximal controversy; d1) dissensus and its normalized version; d2) decomposition of dissensus by aggregation of questions. The presented results may form the basis for a future theory about the differentiation of public opinion.