« ATAC meeting, 10.15.08 | Main | Open plenary session, ELI annual meeting 2009 »

How did Bill Ayers and Joe the Plumber affect the election?

The degree of salience and how it affects the outcome of elections.

He has a simple matrix: salience vs. positivity (or negativity of response). That is -- do you think this is important, and do you think positively or negatively about it?

They wanted to ask the basic question what's the most important challenge facing the U.S.?

They used a sampling company. He makes the case that you need to only make sure that the questions are uncorrelated to the questions you ask -- not a true representative sample.

The only demographic data that they selected for was gender.

They used an analytic theory based on Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory.

The InfoTrend software, which is what he's pushing, focuses on ways to write sophisticated text analysis, allowing us to determine the frequency with which words and phrases show up in a text response or document.