Policy ForumSOCIAL SCIENCES

Social media for large studies of behavior

Science  28 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6213, pp. 1063-1064
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6213.1063

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Summary

On 3 November 1948, the day after Harry Truman won the United States presidential elections, the Chicago Tribune published one of the most famous erroneous headlines in newspaper history: “Dewey Defeats Truman” (1, 2). The headline was informed by telephone surveys, which had inadvertently undersampled Truman supporters (1). Rather than permanently discrediting the practice of polling, this event led to the development of more sophisticated techniques and higher standards that produce the more accurate and statistically rigorous polls conducted today (3).

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