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_Gary
04-18-2010, 10:35 PM
FWIW the sports opinion media are preaching to the converted. Nonsensical anti-Duke screeds are written by intelligent but lazy writers because they strike a chord among a segment of the hoops fans. I refuse to give the media credit for "hating Duke." Most of them, while cynical and lazy, are far too intelligent to not admire the many positive attributes of the players, the coaches, and the university.

Maybe we are dealing with a chicken/egg issue here. I think in the case of "Duke hate" it's probably a little of both. I'm sure there are some writers/commentators that are just pandering to a ready-made base. But I also believe some of these guys are also helping to perpetuate the hate and the myth of "Duke gets all the calls" and "they just lucked out with the brackets" crap. I know what I'm about to say is completely anecdotal, but I'm telling you that I'm seeing and hearing a lot more Duke hate from people that have not in the past demonstrated this attitude. I'm amazed at how regular sports fans that have no rooting interest in general when it comes to Duke/UNC really have a bad attitude about this current Duke championship. I've had otherwise very nice guys who generally shoot the breeze with me about all sports not give the obligatory congrats to me (knowing I'm a huge Duke fan), which we've always done for one another when one our teams wins a championship. Either that, or if I've brought it up to them it's been meant with a very disgusted "Yeah, they got lucky" or something else similar. It's amazing how bad it has gotten. It's that type of stuff that cements in my mind the media's ability to influence public opinion in a powerful way.

coldriver10
04-19-2010, 12:56 AM
This isn't an argument against this poll; this argument against any and all polling. How can a sample of 800, or 320 be representative of an entire population? The short answer is that it is a random sample. see CBS News for its' explanation. "How can so few people represent millions of Americans? The answer is that we draw a random sample of the whole public. Basic math tell us that if we follow the procedure outlined above, our sample will be an almost perfect replica of the whole country"
http://wap.cbsnews.com/site?sid=cbsnews&pid=sections.detail&catId=TOP&storyId=299401&viewFull=yes

This is a really interesting result that i'd love to explore further.
You're right. The problem is that 320 is really, really small (i.e. the power of the study is correspondingly small). I could understand it if they polled a few thousand people and extrapolated it out to the general population, but I think 320 is too few to come to an actual conclusion. Of course, I admit I don't know what the standard is for polls in general (I'd be interested to know how this one compares), nor am I a statistics pro who can calculate the power off the top of my head.

At the very least it certainly is discussion-worthy, which is the whole point :)

blueprofessor
04-19-2010, 07:59 AM
You're right. The problem is that 320 is really, really small (i.e. the power of the study is correspondingly small). I could understand it if they polled a few thousand people and extrapolated it out to the general population, but I think 320 is too few to come to an actual conclusion. Of course, I admit I don't know what the standard is for polls in general (I'd be interested to know how this one compares), nor am I a statistics pro who can calculate the power off the top of my head.

At the very least it certainly is discussion-worthy, which is the whole point :)
These intelligent questions about the (or,any poll's) poll's validity are reasonable and common.
I studied polling at the Kennedy School for a few years while at Harvard Business School. I have run political campaigns and employed top polling firms to provide tactical and strategic inputs.

The poll is fine. The margin of error is higher when samples are smaller. But the fact that a poll has a little higher margin of error does not sully the results. See the explanation below re margins of error.

Moreover, likely voter screens vary considerably in severity---Registered to vote and strong interest in voting in the next election though never voted before?Voted in last election? Voted in last 2 elections? Voted in 2004 and 2008 but not in 2006? Any affirmative answer could pass a particular likely voter screen. Typically, likely voters are more in touch and interested . They tend to expand in numbers closer to the election. They are generally the most informed repondent a pollster can hope for.
In this poll,I like the use of a likely voter screen---but understand that the strictness of the screen could yield a sample of repondents much closer to merely registered voters, than to wired people who vote in every single election.

Here is an explanation of margin of error:
What Is The Margin Of Error? Notice that our sample is an almost replica. There is a catch: we must make a trade-off when we choose to interview a thousand people instead of 200 million. That trade-off is the margin of error. Since we are talking to relativey few people, we can only say that our results are correct 95% of the time, give or take a few percentage points. For example, lets say that you see a CBS News story which says that 75% of the public has read a book in the past month. A graphic on the screen has a line that reads: Margin of Error +/- 3 percentage points. That means that if we asked all 200 million Americans the same question, we are 95% sure of getting a result anywhere between 72% and 78%. Since there would be just as much chance that the real figure was 75%, we report that figure. And our conclusion that Americans read a lot would stand regardless of that real figure. Sometimes you will see a story which says that a certain election or public opinion question is too close to call. That is due to the margin of error. Suppose Candidate A has 51% in our poll and Candidate B has 49% -- but the margin of error is three percentage points. Since the difference between the two candidates is smaller than the margin of error, each is as likely to win as the other. We cannot (and will not) say that Candidate A is in the lead. You will notice that when the margin of error prevents us from saying for certain who would win, we will not do so. Thats why we will always tell you the margin of error in stories about our polls on CBS News and in The New York Times so you can tell for yourself if our results are correct or if they are too close to call

Best regards--Blueprofessor:)

muzikfrk75
04-19-2010, 01:25 PM
Bilas on ESPN chat today responding to someone asking him about the amount of Duke hate in the Final Four:

'Nope, and I didn't care. I think that Duke people spend way too much time worrying about it. Who cares what people love, like, dislike or hate? That is a matter of taste, and I don't really care which teams or players people love or hate. As long as the facts are straight, worrying about who people like or dislike is a waste of time.'

coldriver10
04-19-2010, 01:53 PM
These intelligent questions about the (or,any poll's) poll's validity are reasonable and common.
I studied polling at the Kennedy School for a few years while at Harvard Business School. I have run political campaigns and employed top polling firms to provide tactical and strategic inputs.

The poll is fine. The margin of error is higher when samples are smaller. But the fact that a poll has a little higher margin of error does not sully the results. See the explanation below re margins of error.

Moreover, likely voter screens vary considerably in severity---Registered to vote and strong interest in voting in the next election though never voted before?Voted in last election? Voted in last 2 elections? Voted in 2004 and 2008 but not in 2006? Any affirmative answer could pass a particular likely voter screen. Typically, likely voters are more in touch and interested . They tend to expand in numbers closer to the election. They are generally the most informed repondent a pollster can hope for.
In this poll,I like the use of a likely voter screen---but understand that the strictness of the screen could yield a sample of repondents much closer to merely registered voters, than to wired people who vote in every single election.

Here is an explanation of margin of error:
What Is The Margin Of Error? Notice that our sample is an almost replica. There is a catch: we must make a trade-off when we choose to interview a thousand people instead of 200 million. That trade-off is the margin of error. Since we are talking to relativey few people, we can only say that our results are correct 95% of the time, give or take a few percentage points. For example, lets say that you see a CBS News story which says that 75% of the public has read a book in the past month. A graphic on the screen has a line that reads: Margin of Error +/- 3 percentage points. That means that if we asked all 200 million Americans the same question, we are 95% sure of getting a result anywhere between 72% and 78%. Since there would be just as much chance that the real figure was 75%, we report that figure. And our conclusion that Americans read a lot would stand regardless of that real figure. Sometimes you will see a story which says that a certain election or public opinion question is too close to call. That is due to the margin of error. Suppose Candidate A has 51% in our poll and Candidate B has 49% -- but the margin of error is three percentage points. Since the difference between the two candidates is smaller than the margin of error, each is as likely to win as the other. We cannot (and will not) say that Candidate A is in the lead. You will notice that when the margin of error prevents us from saying for certain who would win, we will not do so. Thats why we will always tell you the margin of error in stories about our polls on CBS News and in The New York Times so you can tell for yourself if our results are correct or if they are too close to call

Best regards--Blueprofessor:)
Interesting! Thanks for the info. So what is an acceptable margin of error? I'm curious what the minimum number of people would be that you'd have to poll in order to draw a conclusion.

duke79
04-19-2010, 02:04 PM
I agree completely with Jay Bilas' sentiment in the above quote. Who really cares what people think of Duke? I certainly don't lose sleep over it. I don' t want to re-hash all of the reasons people hate Duke (although I think it is really dislike or hatred of Duke basketball and NOT the rest of the university) but I do think a lot of it is simply jealousy of the team's success (look at the hatred of they Yankees by many non-Yankee fans, myself included) and the fact that people in this country like to root for the underdog, which Duke has not really been in the last 30 years. The fact is that every single time in the last 30 years that I have told people that I went to Duke (and I'm a double Duke grad, having gone to law school there as well), every person has always said "Wow, great school!! You're lucky to have gone there". There's no doubt that I have gotten at least 2 or 3 jobs in my lifetime because I have "Duke University" on my resume. And I live in the part of the country littered with Ivy League grads. So let people hate the basketball team. Who cares??

alteran
04-19-2010, 02:37 PM
I agree completely with Jay Bilas' sentiment in the above quote. Who really cares what people think of Duke? I certainly don't lose sleep over it. I don' t want to re-hash all of the reasons people hate Duke (although I think it is really dislike or hatred of Duke basketball and NOT the rest of the university) but I do think a lot of it is simply jealousy of the team's success (look at the hatred of they Yankees by many non-Yankee fans, myself included) and the fact that people in this country like to root for the underdog, which Duke has not really been in the last 30 years. The fact is that every single time in the last 30 years that I have told people that I went to Duke (and I'm a double Duke grad, having gone to law school there as well), every person has always said "Wow, great school!! You're lucky to have gone there". There's no doubt that I have gotten at least 2 or 3 jobs in my lifetime because I have "Duke University" on my resume. And I live in the part of the country littered with Ivy League grads. So let people hate the basketball team. Who cares??

I irritates me, but I don't lose sleep over it.

I do believe that the constant harping about officiating, and the constant replaying of calls that go our way (but somehow, NEVER the converse) has actual effects on officiating.

duke79
04-19-2010, 03:17 PM
I irritates me, but I don't lose sleep over it.

I do believe that the constant harping about officiating, and the constant replaying of calls that go our way (but somehow, NEVER the converse) has actual effects on officiating.

On the relative scale of world problems, people hating Duke basketball is an extremely minor irritant. Just ignore it and revel in the success.

blueprofessor
04-19-2010, 04:36 PM
Interesting! Thanks for the info. So what is an acceptable margin of error? I'm curious what the minimum number of people would be that you'd have to poll in order to draw a conclusion.

Here is a link for determining sampling error:http://www.usaelectionpolls.com/polling/margin-of-error.html

Yesterday,there was a poll of Florida voters with a sample of 1250 and an MOE of + or - 2.8%. That is a very low MOE.

The lower the MOE, the greater the sample size and,hence, the more expensive it is to conduct the poll.

A few days ago there was a poll of Indiana registered voters with a sample of 806 respondents and an MOE of + or - 3.5% which is acceptable.

Some polls have an MOE of 4.5 to 5%---they are marginally less reliable.
Read the link if you wish.

You can draw a conclusion from any poll; the poll's MOE tells you how confident you can be in the results of that poll.

Best regards. Blueprofessor:)

drdoctormd
04-19-2010, 05:02 PM
The best line I've seen recently on a Duke-hating message board :

"The whole world owes me an explanation."

Dukeface88
04-20-2010, 01:14 AM
Here is a link for determining sampling error:http://www.usaelectionpolls.com/polling/margin-of-error.html

Yesterday,there was a poll of Florida voters with a sample of 1250 and an MOE of + or - 2.8%. That is a very low MOE.

The lower the MOE, the greater the sample size and,hence, the more expensive it is to conduct the poll.

A few days ago there was a poll of Indiana registered voters with a sample of 806 respondents and an MOE of + or - 3.5% which is acceptable.

Some polls have an MOE of 4.5 to 5%---they are marginally less reliable.
Read the link if you wish.

You can draw a conclusion from any poll; the poll's MOE tells you how confident you can be in the results of that poll.

Best regards. Blueprofessor:)

I'd add that the main problem in polls apart from MOE is Bias. Bias is argueably more damaging to the results and, more certainly more difficult to detect. Several of the prominent political polls, for instance, have been shown to have small (2-4%), but consistent, house effects due to their sample construction and voter screens. By now there's a long enough record(and enough other polls) to compensate; sports polling is much less solid.

tele
04-20-2010, 01:35 AM
Bilas on ESPN chat today responding to someone asking him about the amount of Duke hate in the Final Four:

'Nope, and I didn't care. I think that Duke people spend way too much time worrying about it. Who cares what people love, like, dislike or hate? That is a matter of taste, and I don't really care which teams or players people love or hate. As long as the facts are straight, worrying about who people like or dislike is a waste of time.'

Sounds as if Mr. Bilas doesn't have much of an appreciation for the power of advertising or of propaganda for that matter. Must not see much of that at ESPN.

LSanders
04-20-2010, 03:00 AM
Bilas on ESPN chat today responding to someone asking him about the amount of Duke hate in the Final Four:

'Nope, and I didn't care. I think that Duke people spend way too much time worrying about it. Who cares what people love, like, dislike or hate? That is a matter of taste, and I don't really care which teams or players people love or hate. As long as the facts are straight, worrying about who people like or dislike is a waste of time.'

Amen, Brother Bilas!!!

blueprofessor
04-20-2010, 08:02 AM
I'd add that the main problem in polls apart from MOE is Bias. Bias is argueably more damaging to the results and, more certainly more difficult to detect. Several of the prominent political polls, for instance, have been shown to have small (2-4%), but consistent, house effects due to their sample construction and voter screens. By now there's a long enough record(and enough other polls) to compensate; sports polling is much less solid.

Samples are selected to be representative of the particular population (likely voters, adults, adult North Carolinians,independents,registered voters, Nascar fans)from which they are drawn.
Occasionally,adjustments need to be made to a sample before analyzing it.
Why? Because there exist substantive reasons (for example,determining likely voters and projecting election results on a subset of likely voters---18--24 years old likely voters---instead of the entire sample of likely voters).
Further,to correct for biases,weights are used so that a particular sample's demographic characteristics (sex, race,region, and age, for example) more mirror the population's overall properties.

Sports polls that have adults as the target group to sample (not more limited populations, like likely voters) do not present as many problems calling for adjustments due to substantive reasons.

When the results are w/i the MOE (as 51%--49% with an MOE of + or - 3.5%), you still get a conclusion but one that has a range of possibilities ,including that the position supported by 51% may actually be closer to or less than 49%.

In the PPP poll regarding identification of Duke and UNC fans in North Carolina , cited several posts above, the results are outside the margin of error.

What is noteworthy is how many pollsters are accurate in their predictions when the MOEs are considered,as they should be.

Best regards--Blueprofessor:)

blueprofessor
04-20-2010, 08:24 AM
Bilas on ESPN chat today responding to someone asking him about the amount of Duke hate in the Final Four:

'Nope, and I didn't care. I think that Duke people spend way too much time worrying about it. Who cares what people love, like, dislike or hate? That is a matter of taste, and I don't really care which teams or players people love or hate. As long as the facts are straight, worrying about who people like or dislike is a waste of time.'

If it is fans who are hating based on inaccurate information (that K cursed-- using the F word in the meeting with William Avery's mother), they have a right to their ignorance. One PPP poll indicated 39% of UNC fans in NC are hardcore. True believers are not usually open to truth or reason.They do not bother me,as they play the fool.

However, when sportswriters and announcers propagate inaccuracies, other knowledgeable sports folks (yes, Mr. Bilas) have an affirmative duty to correct such garbage if they wish to serve the audience and be objective.
Jay may not wish to address such garbage; I trust others who want more facts and less inaccuracies will make the corrections.

Where Bilas played bball on a full-ride is irrelevant.Whether he is loyal to Duke is immaterial.There are inaccuracies spit out having nothing to do with Duke that ought to be corrected by fair journalists and commentators on the spot. Fairness, not loyalty, demands honesty and reinforcing that quality in co-workers.

Best regards--Blueprofessor

alteran
04-20-2010, 10:32 AM
I irritates me, but I don't lose sleep over it.

Did I really write "I irritates me"? I clearly need to up the caffeine dosage.

I think I'm going have that printed on the back of a football jersey.


On the relative scale of world problems, people hating Duke basketball is an extremely minor irritant. Just ignore it and revel in the success.

Still concerned that the harping on officiating affects officials.

Learning to embrace the hate.

alteran
04-20-2010, 10:38 AM
Sounds as if Mr. Bilas doesn't have much of an appreciation for the power of advertising or of propaganda for that matter. Must not see much of that at ESPN.

Agreed. And Mr. Bilas seems to be underestimating in his last sentence how frequently the facts are wrong-- particularly on the channel of his employer.

Oh wait, I'm embracing the hate, I'm embracing the hate, I'm embracing...

--alteran

p.s. Please note, this is not a shot at Jay Bilas, but at ESPN. I frankly think Jay does a wonderful job of dialing the disinformation down merely by being such a constant presence.

RockLobster
04-20-2010, 11:26 AM
Did I really write "I irritates me"? I clearly need to up the caffeine dosage.

I think I'm going have that printed on the back of a football jersey.



Still concerned that the harping on officiating affects officials.

Learning to embrace the hate.

Post of the week.

SharkD
05-04-2010, 03:54 PM
awesome. i almost wished this was the chronicle headline instead of un-four-gettable

http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=457

Here's a better copy. It's not exactly the same headline font (not that The Daily Show used the Chronicle's font, either, but it's close enough. I printed up a 4x6 and stuck it on my on-campus office door.

Click to embiggen.

http://imgur.com/Qur01l.jpg (http://imgur.com/Qur01.jpg)