The American Association for Public Opinion Research has a long (founded 1947) and rich history.
- A Meeting Place: The History of The American Association for Public Opinion Research. Edited by Paul B. Sheatsley and Warren J. Mitofsky, 1992. Now available online:
- by chapter - table of contents | complete book - 12MB PDF
AAPOR's History at a Glance
AAPOR was founded in 1947 by a group of dedicated public opinion research pioneers. They and about 70 of their colleagues had responded to a call from Harry H. Field, director of the National Opinion Research Center, then at the University of Denver, to attend a meeting in Central City, Colorado, July 29 - 31, 1946. The meeting was held in the historic Opera House.
The program of that first conference reflected the optimism of a new methodology. Reflections on a better world through public opinion research and its contributions to world peace headed a program that also addressed the practical concerns of professionals in a budding field.
When formalization came on September 4, 1947, two organizations resulted: AAPOR and the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR). The organizations continue their close association and meet jointly in even-numbered years.
In the main, AAPOR has occupied itself with professional matters: Public Opinion Quarterly, which became the official journal in 1948; professional standards; and above all, advancing research theory and methodology.
Many of those at the center of the activity were later recipients of AAPOR's highest award, including Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Herbert H. Hyman, Samuel A. Stouffer, Elmo Roper, Clyde W. Hart, Angus Campbell, George H. Gallup, and Harold D. Lasswell. All played major formative roles in the history of public opinion research.
In addition to the Meeting Place book above on AAPOR's history, another great resource for learning about the survey research and opinion is:
- Survey Research in the United States: Roots and Emrgence, 1890-1960. Jean M. Converse. University of California Press, 1987.