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American Association for Public Opinion Research

2012 AAPOR Conference: "Evaluating New Frontiers in Public Opinion and Social Research"

By Dan Merkle, 2012 Conference Chair

AAPOR’s 67th Annual Conference will be May 17-20, 2012 in Orlando at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, a luxury resort about 10 miles from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Our conference theme, “Evaluating New Frontiers in Public Opinion and Social Research,” is designed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of new methodologies and modes of data collection and explore the implications for our profession.

The continued proliferation of new communication media and technologies presents increased opportunities as well as challenges for public opinion, marketing science and survey researchers. These include new methods of measuring opinion and behavior such as the analysis of social media content (e.g., Facebook), blogs, microblogs (e.g., Twitter) and internet searches. Research is encouraged that explores the value of these emerging methodologies to public opinion, marketing science and other social researchers, including the reliability and validity of these approaches.

Also related to the conference theme is the use of newer technologies in research such as smart phones, iPads®, texting, webcams (e.g., Skype) and advances in internet surveys. Research is encouraged that explores how these newer modes of data collection can be integrated with existing approaches and evaluates the implications for data quality. In this rapidly changing communication environment, this year’s conference theme will provide a forum to discuss the implications of these myriad changes for the public opinion, marketing science and survey research professions.

The conference program will also accept research on other topics of interest to our profession including substantive studies of public opinion on social, economic and political issues,  cross-national and comparative research, political polling and electoral decision-making, the impact of the media on public opinion, and methodological research on cell phones, address-based sampling, nonresponse, noncoverage, sampling, weighting, questionnaire design, web surveys, mixed-mode data collection and other methodological issues.