Public versus private opinion

Date of publication: June 15, 1979

Author: Stephen King

Abstract:

This paper suggests that there is a genuine difference between people's "private opinions" and their "public opinions"; but the requirements of media contests will force research methods to concentrate almost entirely on "public opinion". The danger is that one set of misleading findings will be publicly opposed by another set, and as a result seriously damage the reputation of market research in general. One important challenge of the eighties will be to identify these risks and to agree on a realistic code of practice to deal with them.

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