Public opinion

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Public opinion refers to a population's collective attitudes and beliefs.

Public opinion and democratic theory

Measuring public opinion

Public opinion is typically measured by asking members of the public what they think.

Scientific polls and surveys

Since the 1930s, the predominant means for discerning what the public thinks has been public opinion polls or surveys administered to a statistically representative sample of the population of interest.

Straw polls and public opinion baths

Focus groups

Deliberative polls