The Objectives of the Research
The objectives of this wave of WPRI’s ongoing research program continued to be to measure attitudes of residents on emerging and topical issues and to track change in attitudes on selected topics over time.
As was found in earlier surveys, attitudes on some issues have changed very little since the last wave. On other issues, there have been significant changes in attitudes and concerns.
The Methodology for the Study
The data in this report are based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 Wisconsin residents who are 18 years of age and older. The sample was drawn from a list of telephone numbers generated by a computer. This method includes both unlisted numbers and new listings in proportion to their representation in the population. Nearly every number was called at least three times before the number was discarded. This process, and the sampling itself, is controlled by a Computer Aided Sampling (CAS) System, which monitors the entire process to insure that callbacks are made at appropriate times and that numbers are sampled correctly.
The methodology is the same process the Louis Harris & Associates employs in its election surveys. The demographic profile of the sample of residents surveyed was compared against current population estimates for the state. The sample was weighted to compensate for two harder-to-reach populations: younger respondents and black respondents. The number of male and female respondents was also controlled to ensure an approximately equal division.
A survey of 1,000 randomly selected residents has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent for percentages based on the entire sample. For an underlying percentage of 50%, for example, this means that repeated samples would produce results between 47% and 53%, 95 times out of 100. The margin of error for subsamples, such as women, blacks, or young people, will be significantly greater.