Public Opinion

Yuval Levin also has a lengthy discussion of why gauging public opinion on the embryonic stem cell debate and related issues is so hard: much of the public is underinformed or misinformed on the issue, and what opinions they do have are inconsistent. What most stood out to me, though, were two things. First, that the answers received were strongly dependent upon the phrasing of the question. I’ve encountered far too many surveys where the questions are obviously (at least, obvious to me) phrased so as to push results toward a particular desired outcome (see this post imported from my old blog).
Secondly, I’d note that the incoherence and inconsistency in peoples opinions is indicative of a fact that has frustrated me for a long time; most people emote their way through life, and seem unwilling to actually use reason (if not outright incapable of it). They don’t think about things, they just feel instead.


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