Take that chocolate milk survey with a grain of salt

Social scientists call this a problem with validity: the question doesn’t really measure what it’s supposed to measure. Of course, without seeing how the question was worded, we can’t know whether the chocolate milk question had validity.

Indeed, early media coverage focused on the 7 percent statistic but left out the fact that 48 percent of respondents said they don’t know where chocolate milk comes from. This gives context to the 7 percent number. While it’s conceivable that 7 percent of the population doesn’t know that chocolate milk is just milk with chocolate, the idea that a full 55 percent — over half of adults — don’t know or gave an incorrect response begins to strain credulity. This points toward a confusing survey question.

Most Government Websites Fail Online Trust Alliance Security & Privacy Audit | Bloomberg BNA


Consumer services sites such as Twitter Inc. and YouTube have the best website and email security and privacy practices, but approximately 60 percent of government websites are exposed to cybersecurity threats, according to a June 20 report by the Online Trust Alliance, an online industry non-profit.

A few queued articles!

While there were some system problems, I collected a few articles of note…

Inside the U.S. government’s plans to survive a nuclear war – The Washington Post


When Did We Start Shopping at Stores? | JSTOR Daily


In a 1979 paper, Gareth Shaw and M. T. Wild traced the beginnings of the store as it developed in British cities in the nineteenth century.

Shaw and Wild write that pre-industrial “retail” began with periodic markets or fairs. As more people moved to the cities, craftsmen began setting up local shops, selling their own products to their neighbors.

How surveying 1,000 people tells you what all Americans think | Pew Research Center


Here at Pew Research Center, we are often asked about how we conduct our research. We work hard to make our methodologies transparent and understandable, but we also know that survey mode effects and data weighting aren’t on everyone’s short list of water-cooler conversation topics.

That’s why we’re launching Methods 101, a new occasional video series dedicated to explaining and educating the public about the basic methods we use to conduct our survey research. We hope this effort will make survey methods more accessible, even if you’re not a statistician or pollster. We also hope it will help give our audience the confidence to be savvy consumers of all polls.

Our first video is about random sampling, a concept that undergirds all probability-based survey research. The video explains what it means and why it’s important. We hope you’ll find it useful.

Video Explainer: Understanding random sampling for public opinion surveys | Pew Research Center


10 Reasons to Join ASPA


ASPA Benefits and 10 reasons to join…

How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality – The New York Times


When we think of entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare immediately come to mind. But by any fair standard, the holy trinity of United States social policy should also include the mortgage-interest deduction — an enormous benefit that has also become politically untouchable.

A Fair Use Primer for Graduate Students | GradHacker


…just a few examples to give you a sense of the fair use exemption to copyright law. Although it is confusing, it is important to do your best to stay within the law