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A Passion for Polling – Suffolk University


Paleologos remembers being struck by Linder’s professionalism in the course. “She would submit draft assignments early for feedback, then revise them,” he says. “In the polling world we call that a ‘pretest’ and we do it often to find out whether or not questions resonate with a respondent.”

Linder submitted a draft poll question on how respondents viewed the events of January 6, 2021: Was it a protest, a riot, or an insurrection? Her question was chosen for use in a national Suffolk poll and received wide media coverage. As she watched the mentions roll in, she realized how much of an impact her work could have.

Later, diving into her independent study she researched the psychology behind polling: how to write questions and where to order them in a poll’s structure to elicit meaningful answers. Then she got to work. 

Paleologos says he could trust Linder to work at a high level immediately based on her “exemplary” work in his course. She started by proofreading data for a Florida midterm election poll, and quickly became involved in questionnaire design, proofing, and analysis for a total of nine polls over the semester covering national and local politics, plus hot topics such as gauging Ukrainian and Russian American sentiment about the war in Ukraine.  

“I’ve been given so many opportunities to learn,” says Linder. “It’s never been a question of ‘Oh, we’ll see if you can handle it.’ Professor Paleologos puts a lot of trust and a lot of faith in his students.”

 



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