Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poor polling leads to inconclusive results - BTW Go the Canes.

Rugby. Lifeblood of our small nation at the bottom of the South pacific. Or is it? According to a poll presented on Stuff today, more Kiwi's are turning away from Rugger and doing, well, who gives a shit really. My point is that its yet another example of poor opinion polling and poor journalism. Combined they create a bullshit article that plays on the ever present undercurrent of malaise we feel every year when the rugby season starts.

So, this article in Stuff is titled "Kiwi's losing interest in Rugby". That's nice. And on what amazingly insightful piece of investigative journalism do they base the revelation on? A poll. Well, after being polled a few times, I know the calibre of questions the most pollsters ask. They are generally slanted in some way, whether they mean to or not, and will probably skew the results towards a specific outcome. This particular one asked people whether or not they would be taking more, less or the same interest in rugby this year compared to previous ones.

Ok, not very specific, but not only that, they list the results and then talk about MORE people feeling bummed about rugby this year. Sorry? Did I miss something? You asked a small sample of people (500 which is minuscule) one question and are now drawing a different result? They asked people if they would be more or less interested in rugby, but this does not tell you if this is different to LAST year. Or the year before. At no time does it point to historical data. The only thing you can tell from this poll is that for a small sample of people, 29% were less interested, 54% the same and 14% were more interested.

To get an accurate result, to answer the question on whether people are more or less interested in rugby this year, compared to other years, they would need to poll a LOT more people every year, at the same time of year, and compare the data from each year.

They also draw conclusions based on irrelevant fact. They state that this is because we got so much rugger last year, and that we lost the world cup. Yes - I said it. We screwed the pooch. Farted with the new girlfriend and fluffed the blanket. We George W. Bushed it. We came a gutser. We ballsed it up. It was, by all accounts, a bit of a booboo. But, I still support the All Blacks - they are a fantastic bunch of strapping lads who could've taken those South African finalists with one arm tied behind their backs any day.

I digress. Anyway, the point is, this is baseless conjecture - its like me taking a poll of the neighbourhood on cat's and then using this information to conclude a point about dogs. The information may seem to be related, but unless you actually ask the specific question, its just a guess.

You may say at this point, "What the hell do you care?" and you'd be right. I don't. But I wanted to talk about rugby without being all "Go the 'canes!" and sound like a sports nut.




zedsdead said...

i'll be a sports nut, go the fucken canes, well go better than last week anyways. 2 words horror-canes...oh and don't let poor journalism in this country get to you or you will go nuts!

Spankermatic said...

Aye bro - hopefully they can pull their socks up against the Reds. I think some serious ball to hand training should have been done this week. And not the gay kind either.