Back in 1962, Elmo Roper, a pioneer in public opinion polling, identified a problem in his field.
“A preference for certainty over doubt, for the plausible over the proved, for drama over accuracy, for hunch and intuition over the hard-to-assemble facts, is a common human tendency,” he wrote.
Fifty-five years later, Nate Silver — today’s political-statistics guru — has the same complaint.
“There’s a strong desire for a narrative, and a lot of groupthink,” the founder of Fivethirtyeight.com told me last week.
I had called him up to ask why should anyone ever trust polls again. CONT.
Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post