« I'ts All in the Timing | Main | Mystery Solved »

January 26, 2007

Those Wacky Pollsters

My favorite thing about my job is the amount of bizarre information I come across. While working on the documentation for the November 1995 ABC News HMO Poll, I learned that the second-to-last question was, verbatim: "what's your favorite on Thanksgiving dinner -- the turkey, the stuffing or the cranberry sauce?" The last question was, "is that the white meat or the dark meat?" I kid you not. If I were a sociologist, I could use this dataset to write a dissertation on whether or not there is a correlation between liking dark meat and having a particular type of health insurance.

In case you're wondering, out of 1005 respondents, 487 (48.5%) preferred turkey, 356 (35.4%) preferred stuffing, 117 (11.6%) liked the cranberry sauce best, 27 (2.7%) expressed a different favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, 4 (.4%) don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and 3 (.3%) had no preference. Of the 487 who answered turkey, 318 (65.3%) prefer white meat, 115 (23.6%) prefer dark meat, 53 (10.9%) like both equally, and one person (.2%) refused to answer.

Posted by eklanche at January 26, 2007 10:38 AM

Comments

Man, Americans have opinions on everything that doesn't matter. Only one person had the gumption to not answer! (I probably would have said some other part of the dinner.)

Posted by: kisha at January 26, 2007 10:58 PM

Don't worry. All aspersions cast on sociologists were taken in loving jest. They are, after all, some of the most fascinating and well meaning people I know. Perhaps they were checking in with respondents at the end of the survey to make sure they were still breathing, or testing the validity of the other questions (if there's a range of typical answers to the Thanksgiving questions),or perhaps they wanted to reward the respondents with a meal to their liking!

Posted by: khilfman@earthlink.net at January 27, 2007 12:52 PM

Em - I meant to say validity of responses to the other questions, rather than the validity of other questions themselves- anyway, perhaps just more proof of our goofy thinking! Love - Mom

Posted by: khilfman@earthlink.net at January 27, 2007 01:10 PM

Login to leave a comment. Create a new account.