How to Measure Public Opinion in the Networked Age: Working in a Googleocracy or a Googlearchy?

Abstract : The rise of the internet has transformed information acquisition from a top-down process originating from media elites to a process of self-selection and searching. This raises a fundamental question about the relationship between information acquisition and opinion formation: do the processes occur in parallel or as part of a self-directed feedback loop? That is, do we look for information to make opinions, do we look for information to support our opinions, or do we do both simultaneously? Analysis using Google search results and polling information from the 2008 US presidential election suggests that public information queries are reflective of polling data and election outcomes. The sheer quantity of search data on political terms also suggests that public information desires may surpass standard assumptions of public political sophistication.
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Sean Westwood. How to Measure Public Opinion in the Networked Age: Working in a Googleocracy or a Googlearchy?. 9th IFIP TC9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC) / 1st IFIP TC11 International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIP) / Held as Part of World Computer Congress (WCC), Sep 2010, Brisbane, Australia. pp.150-160, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-15479-9_14⟩. ⟨hal-01058183⟩

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