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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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「ポンコツ」と批判する前に

 
雑誌Natureもトランプ大統領誕生を大きく取り上げています。今後の科学政策の方向性がトランプ政権にかかっているので科学者にとっても一番の関心事なのかもしれません。話題になった動詞trumpが使われていますね。

Reality must trump rhetoric after US election shock
It is time for scientists and politicians alike to constructively engage with core issues — from climate change and energy independence to social inequality.

16 November 2016

アカデミックは一般の人々の感情を見逃してきたのではないかと自省を促しているところです。

A nation divided
Many US citizens, including a fair number of scientists, might not like it, but Trump is a reflection of the United States today. He is a reminder of the deep schisms — economic as well as cultural — in American society and beyond. Academics, in particular, must break out of their cultural bubbles and work to understand the sentiments behind Trump’s rise. There are elements of his agenda, including his attention to the plight of many working-class citizens who have missed out on the economic gains of the past 25 years, that truly merit attention. We need to better understand the causes and consequences of inequality, including how technology and globalization are reshaping the economic landscape.


ありがちな主張ではありますがAcademics, in particular, must break out of their cultural bubbles and work to understand the sentiments behind Trump’s rise.(特にアカデミックは業界の殻を破ってトランプの台頭の背後にはる感情を理解しようと努める必要がある)のbreak out of their cultural bubblesなんて表現は使えませんね。

今回の選挙でやり玉に上がったものの中に世論調査があります。どうして予想を外してしまったのか、冷静な分析をしている記事がありました。「ポンコツ」と批判するのはたやすいですが信頼の置ける調査をするのは思った以上に難しそうです。

Pollsters struggle to explain failures of US presidential forecasts
Most surveys did not predict Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
Ramin Skibba

09 November 2016

予想が難しかった理由としてdue to factors such as poorly assessed likely voters, people misreporting their voting intentions, or pollsters inadequately surveying some segments of the populationと主に3点あげています。

“The industry is definitely going to be spending a lot of time doing some soul-searching about what happened and where do we go from here,” says Chris Jackson, head of US public polling at Ipsos, a global market-research and polling firm based in Paris.
(中略)
Poll aggregators such as FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times nonetheless forecast Clinton’s chances of victory at 71% or higher, and The Huffington Post predicted a Clinton landslide. This dramatic polling failure could have been due to factors such as poorly assessed likely voters, people misreporting their voting intentions, or pollsters inadequately surveying some segments of the population.


より詳しく世論調査の難しさを取り上げた記事が先月出ていました。同じライターが書いています。

The polling crisis: How to tell what people really think
This year’s US presidential election is the toughest test yet for political polls as experts struggle to keep up with changing demographics and technology.

Ramin Skibba
19 October 2016

まず、世論調査はただ意見を聞けばいいのではなく、十分なサンプル数や回答者の属性のばらつきが少ないことなど満たすべき基準があるようです。

“Polling’s going through a series of transitions. It’s more difficult to do now,” says Cliff Zukin, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “The paradigm we’ve used since the 1960s has broken down and we’re evolving a new one to replace it — but we’re not there yet.”

Changing times
The ingredients of an accurate poll are fairly simple, but they can be hard to find, and everyone uses a different recipe to pull them all together. Start by recruiting a large group of people — preferably more than 1,000. The sample should be split evenly between women and men. And it should reflect the population’s mix in terms of race, education, income and geographical distribution, to represent these groups’ different views and voting behaviours. Once the data are in hand, pollsters analyse the gaps in their sample and weight the results to account for groups that are under-represented.


さらに電話から携帯電話に変わったことで聞き取り調査が難しくなったという時代の変化もあるようです。

The data-gathering part of polling used to be relatively easy in developed countries. Pollsters simply called people at home — at first, by hand, and later with automatic diallers in the United States. But landlines are quickly going the way of the telegraph (see ‘The line on voters’). In 2008, more than eight in every ten US households had landlines; by 2015, that number had dropped to five and it continues to decline. In the United Kingdom, more people have landlines but the fraction is dropping. As of this year, 53% of them claim that they never or rarely use them.

The mobile revolution has hit pollsters hard in the United States because federal regulations require that mobile phones be called manually. And people often do not answer calls to their mobiles when an unfamiliar number pops up. In 1997, pollsters could get a response rate of 36% but that has dropped to just 10% or less now. As a result, pollsters are struggling to reach as many people, and costs are going up: each mobile-phone interview costs about twice as much as a landline one. There is also a ‘non-response bias’, because people who respond to pollsters’ calls sometimes do not reflect a representative sample, says Frederick Conrad, head of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


意外だったのは投票前から例えば動画で“hidden Trump vote”と言ってる「隠れトランプ支持者」のことはすでに問題として自覚されていたことです。専門的には‘shy Tory effect’と呼ぶとか。



In data we trust
Even if polling organizations manage to collect a representative sample, they can’t always trust the responses that people give them. One of the starkest examples in the United States came in the 1982 election for California’s governor. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African American, was consistently leading in the polls but lost the election by a narrow margin. Afterwards, pollsters suggested that the discrepancy arose because some voters might not have wanted to admit that they would not support an African American candidate. This is now known as the ‘Bradley effect’.

A variation on this is the ‘shy Tory effect’, named after Conservative-leaning voters in the United Kingdom who hide their views or misreport their intentions to pollsters. That makes some experts wonder whether a shy Trump effect might come into play in the forthcoming US election — in which a fraction of voters are embarrassed about or reluctant to admit their support for Trump or opposition to Clinton. But most major pollsters doubt that this will be a major factor because polls before the Republican primary elections gauged support for Trump accurately and he has performed similarly in online polls and in ones that use live interviews.


隠れトランプ支持者の問題は自覚していたけれども、まさかここまで影響するとはというのが世論調査実施者の実状なのでしょうか。もちろん彼らも手をこまねいているだけではありません。いろいろ新しい方法を模索しているようで、そのような新たな取り組みもこの記事で紹介されていました。ただ何も信頼できる方法論として確立しているほどにはなっていないようです。記事にあった以下の言葉は世論調査の方法だけではなく現在の社会のあり方にも当てはまりそうです。

“The paradigm we’ve used since the 1960s has broken down and we’re evolving a new one to replace it — but we’re not there yet.”
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