Military Review

Sociological surveys as a tool of pressure on society

Classical sociology asserts that conducting sociological surveys is one of the most effective ways of obtaining objective information about public opinion about a particular event, the activity of a particular person. In addition, a sociological survey, again in the classical interpretation, is an effective tool for determining civil attitudes at a selected time stage.

However, applied sociology has long been transformed from a classical form into something special, and turned into one of the means of not taking into account public opinion, but its formation. Paying attention to published by specialized agencies, we sometimes do not notice how the information obtained has an impact on us. We are far from always aware of the fact that we are becoming a kind of victim of this information, because at the subconscious level, we are drawn to join the majority. But the problem is that the majority are not always the majority. Why? Yes, because quite often under the guise of the majority a certain snag slips, which draws attention to itself and pushes a person towards him. This allows customers (authors) of such sociological surveys, or rather, their results, to solve a whole range of problems of interest to them.

As an example with a previously prepared result, we can consider the following situation. A group of people living on the territory of one city is asked a question: how do they relate to the emergence of a petrochemical plant on the outskirts, which will give the city more 2000 jobs.

The question itself (and this question is taken in one of the regional publications) already contains the aspirations of the people who published this poll. Like, how else can you relate if 2 thousands of citizens will have the opportunity to work and earn ...
The published materials confirm the assumption: 64% of respondents expressed their "support", 19% expressed their "I do not support", the rest found it difficult to answer. At the same time, in such surveys, attention is drawn not only to the result, but also to the data on the number of respondents. Sociological analysis centers often provide information: 1817 people were interviewed in various parts of the city (regions, regions of the country). Who are these 1817 people? Why 1817, not 2658 or 1555? No one will ever give an exact answer to these questions, since the organizers of the surveys refer to the item on the anonymity of the respondents, and also to the sociological laws of the so-called “golden cut”. They say that a couple of weeks experts sat above the numbers, substituted them into formulas, used almost supercomputers for this, and eventually drank a couple of glasses of bitter and decided that 1817 would be just right ... Well, except for glasses, of course no one will say .

By the way, there is one more question here: did experts ever come up to someone on the streets, say, Levada Center or other similar agencies on the street? Honestly, how many years one has to trample these same streets - even if one sociological group of people with thick notebooks approached and asked something about a matter of concern to the city or country. Never! I do not exclude, it was only for me that could be destined to become an object of interest for sociologists, who, judging by the number of published surveys and their results, literally scurry about in our cities? 1817 is there, 5000 is here, 4385 is here ...
Where are all these people who are so "lucky" to create national or regional statistics? One gets the impression that the participants in such surveys are a certain caste who sits in their well-appointed apartments and goes out into the street just to be met by the very people with notebooks from some VTsIOM ... Or not the caste, but everything only "dead souls" ...

Returning to the survey of citizens about the construction of a petrochemical plant. After all, it could also be set differently. For example: Do you support the construction of a petrochemical plant if it is going to be built on the site, which before the beginning of this survey was indicated in the documents as a water protection zone? Agree that this is another calico. Here, people who are approached by a person from the sociological service (if, of course, approaches) will have a reason to think that some unclean things are happening with this plant.

And you can imagine an even tougher version of the same question: do you support the construction of a chemical enterprise in the city, if in the neighboring city the same completely burnt out after the explosion of the tank with reagents and in addition burned 500 ha of the forest? As they say, there is a reason for reflection ...

Naturally, such frank, let's say, guiding rhetoric is rarely used in questions, but it happens. Although it is often easier for the same “questioners” to simply concoct the result in advance in a form that is digestible for them, and then pass it off as something massive, popular. Why walk the streets, why bother using formulas and patterns, if you can determine in advance that 60-70 percent for the desired result is the most. And after all, you can go to the same street and get the opposite effect, then redo it anyway.

And we often peck on this bait. “Who does the people support?” Yeah, this supports, but this does not support, it means that I’ll support the first, and the second doesn’t — it’s not bad to fight off the team ... “Who would you like to see at the head of the region?” in addition - 70%, this is -15%, once this is 10%. And a person who considered a suitable candidate to be “razetogo” begins to doubt his preferences and speak to the published results of a sociological poll thanks for opening their eyes.

After this, underestimate our (and not ours too) sociological monitoring services. How can you underestimate if after the results of polls the media literally become in the queue. Like, is it possible not to use such objective information? We repent that we use ... To conduct our own - so there will immediately be citizens who will accuse us of having a highly specialized audience, the results of which cannot be extrapolated to all of Russian society. But the mentioned 1817 or 1555, it turns out, you can. Although in that case, almost no one raises the question of the composition of the respondents. But in objectivity, but for some reason the majority is confident on 100%. Statistics…
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  1. zvereok
    zvereok 10 June 2013 08: 20
    Before the weekend I was driving home to the Kurskaya metro station - there are two women with posters "50 rubles for social poll" Who conducted it and on what topic I do not know, did not fit, but I think it depends only on the conscience of women whether they will fulfill the plan by interviewing the right the number of people or simply forge signatures. I have no faith in statistics.

    For example, when the United Russia rating fell catastrophically, on some information Internet resources, the results of social media began to appear almost every week. polls on the topic: "The rating of the United Russia has grown a little," and so it went on for six months. About a month or two ago, such articles disappeared from the information field. Apparently as unnecessary - over time, assaults on the EP stopped and the problems associated with this party were forgotten.
    1. BARKAS
      BARKAS 10 June 2013 09: 11
      It was necessary to take a picture on a mobile phone and put it on the network am
    2. Ivan Mechanic
      Ivan Mechanic 10 June 2013 22: 56
      So you, too, perfectly demonstrate either one of the options for influencing public opinion or a variant of the result of influencing public opinion (choose what you like). This is me regarding your phrase "So, for example, when the rating of EP fell catastrophically, ...." - so the question is - when exactly did it fall dramatically? How much? Where does this data come from (in any way from Echo of Moscow or Dozhd?)? Who did the research? .... And if you take into account that before the swamp there was a primitive pumping of public opinion by this very fall, then it becomes generally sad - the fall was initiated! I did not go to the elections of deputies, but I conducted my own poll among friends and colleagues - and this is interesting - none of them could clearly formulate their claims to United Russia, and even more interesting is that about 40% of my respondents voted for them. And this is in Moscow where the EP traditionally spun around the 40-50 bar.
    3. SergeySK
      SergeySK 11 June 2013 05: 34
      You smack nonsense!

      You probably think that our people are stupid and makes a choice after looking at the polls and consulting with a neighbor whose snout he likes best? !

      I’m grieving you all wrong! ! !

      Prokhorov, for example, can spend all his billions on opinion polls on advertising and black PR He WILL NOT be a presenter! Why should I explain ???
      1. Egen
        Egen 11 June 2013 08: 51
        Quote: SergeySK
        You probably think that our people are stupid and makes a choice after looking at the polls and consulting with a neighbor whose snout he likes best? I’m grieving you all wrong! ! !

        Excuse me, Sergey, I’m grieving you too - almost all is well :)
        I was an observer in several commissions - not from someone, I'm neutral! :), but they moved from the authorities :) I noticed in practice that our electorate is mainly grandparents. Understand correctly, I respect old people very much, but in this respect they are directly led to the fact that they are hammered through political technologies. And polls impressions incl. Although, on the other hand, it is clear even to a schoolboy that, by and large, there are no alternatives in the elections - everything is done before it was shown back in Operation Y :)) But people take everything at face value, that's a shame :(
        Therefore, of course, people are not stupid, this is the wrong word, stupid people would never have flown into space, for example :), but, let's say - malleable :(
  2. Lech from ZATULINKI
    Lech from ZATULINKI 10 June 2013 08: 21
    when interviewing, you should always be interested in who conducts them and for what purpose.
    The nature and length of time of the questions asked reveals the purpose of these events - FREQUENTLY for VERY WRONG
    LEVADA CENTER and similar organizations immediately raise my question to them - how much did Mr. MACFOL pay them to collect information about the mood of our citizens.
    1. IRBIS
      IRBIS 10 June 2013 13: 00
      Quote: Lech s ZATULINKI
      how much did Mr. MACFOL pay them to collect information about the mood of our citizens.

      For the collection - this is nonsense. But for the result that is needed - yes! Here the money is already different, and extras and sociologists of all stripes are trying for them.
    2. starshina78
      starshina78 10 June 2013 21: 41
      Are you asking how much did Levada Center pay? And how much government money is paid to VTsIOM? Nobody knows! I trust Levada Center more. the explanation of why is simple - there was no evidence that the Levada Center is funded from abroad, there are only assumptions, and it gives more truthful results (try it yourself in a conversation with friends, acquaintances, strangers on the bus, metro, in line ask about the attitude to the authorities, to "United Russia", to Putin. and you will hear the opposite, issued by VTsIOM, at least I tried to do so). VTsIOM exists on the money of the state, which means it is dependent, hence the data on the increase in the ratings of the authorities. The proof of the truth of the "Levada Center" is my work collective (locksmiths, drivers, mechanics, electricians, and the rest, only 437 people, none of them speaks positively about the government, as many do not allow the site framework).
      1. SergeySK
        SergeySK 11 June 2013 05: 51
        I’m telling you that only CREATIVE are interested in polls!

        This is their tool!

        I don’t know those who would go to the polls after consulting a opinion poll! ! !

        And more than that! As an example! In the last round of Zyuganov and Prokhorov! Blow on TV that according to the opinion poll 70% for Prokhorov!
        90% turnout!
        And 99% for Zyuganov!
        Those who wish to be in the state-fixed laborers cannot be found here!

        I don’t know the case that the voiced questioning changed someone’s opinion about whom or about anything! If it's not oligophrenic!
        Opinion polls do not affect the opinion of my friends!
  3. the polar
    the polar 10 June 2013 08: 39
    Sociology is a scientific discipline and, of course, to some extent an "instrument of influence". Therefore, it is worth banning all "independent centers of sociology" and giving the right to opinion polls and research only to the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Rosstat and officially registered parties, and the parties should conduct opinion polls on their own with obligatory prior consultation with the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
    Such an order should be approved by law.
    1. Very old
      Very old 10 June 2013 10: 54
      Good my POLAR, but who will do it? This instrument from THEIR hands cannot be knocked out.
      1. SergeySK
        SergeySK 11 June 2013 06: 05
        Well, if you're a ram and go to the polls with a reminder on opinion polls! ?

        If in a opinion poll they tell you that one of the candidates has 51%, you, as a law-abiding adherent of sociology, would you slap to vote for him ??

        And to be completely honest, 90% of the population knows nothing and is not interested in interviews! ! !

        Now you’ll come to work and ask your colleagues which of them know what latest social survey? !

        In the coffin, our man saw the opinion of a neighbor!
  4. pinecone
    pinecone 10 June 2013 08: 42
    One of the tools of enemy propaganda.
    1. SergeySK
      SergeySK 11 June 2013 06: 52
      Opinion poll as a propaganda curve tool!

      It is almost impossible to guess the reaction to it!
  5. cartridge
    cartridge 10 June 2013 08: 44
    Sociology in its current form is becoming a pseudoscience. Moreover, today, for almost all political forces, sociology has become a tool to strengthen its influence or weaken the influence of rivals.
    Personally, I have no faith in the results of opinion polls. They all lie.
  6. Dimented
    Dimented 10 June 2013 08: 57
    Once in Moscow on Tverskaya Street, a girl with a microphone and a guy with a camera approached me, introduced themselves and asked me to answer a seemingly quite harmless question. They say that the New Year is ahead, if you went to the carnival, then in what guise would you do it: Stalin, Brezhnev, Yeltsin, Putin. "Choose!" - they say. Mechanically, I immediately began to answer, and only then turned on my brain. Why politicians? Why exactly these? Maybe I would have dressed in Churchill - I was also a colorful figure. In general, I told them - guys, you cut out your question, substitute a completely different one, and I do not know what I will campaign for. They didn't even particularly resent my "wild" assumption.
    Such are the polls!
  7. GOIIIA79
    GOIIIA79 10 June 2013 08: 59
    Recently, my mother was visited alone with a survey. "Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?" "And why?" etc. etc .... Sociologist: "And for whom would you vote if the presidential election happened tomorrow?" Mother: "I don't know anyone normal!" And the main question of the socialist: "How then do you look at what it would be the CHIEF SAVER?" .... ie the result is already known, and it remains only to convey it and put it into the brain? ...
  8. Armata
    Armata 10 June 2013 09: 16
    Social polls, Social polls fool When a cute girl asked "What do you like for breakfast?" I replied that I like young, pretty girls for breakfast and I like where I catch them.
  9. fenix57
    fenix57 10 June 2013 09: 43
    [B]• I ask you to forget for a moment that you work in the Goskomstat, and tell the court the truth and only the truth.
    [/ b] -

    Sociology studies society, revealing the internal mechanisms of its structure and dynamics; the formation, functioning and development of its structures (structural elements: social communities, institutions, organizations and groups); patterns of social action and mass behavior of people, as well as the relationship between the individual and society.-so after all, a NORMAL (OBJECTIVE) society, where you will find now, ALL ORDERS, THOSE FROM ONE, THEN FROM ANOTHER PARTY ...
    [b] Sociological studies show that everyone who sits on a hedgehog immediately begins to think only about his ass, and it does not occur to anyone to think about a hedgehog.[/B] hi
  10. Thirsty for wind
    Thirsty for wind 10 June 2013 09: 54
    In principle, opinion polls are a good tool, but like any other tool ...
    You can chop wood with an ax, and chopped up the schismatics with your grandmother.
    Man is a cunning CREATED MATTER. It depends on what purpose.
    1. Very old
      Very old 10 June 2013 10: 59
      True, like an AK-47 ...
  11. bunta
    bunta 10 June 2013 10: 03
    Unfortunately, the author does not know a damn thing about sociology and statistics. Firstly, in order to find out what borscht consists of, there is no need to eat the entire cauldron. Second, if you survey 1%, 20%, or 100% of respondents, the results will not differ much. Thirdly, never when in a sociological poll there will be no "IF"! Sociologists understand this trick as well as yours. The figure of 1817 respondents only confirms the seriousness of the surveys, since, for example, 5% of ... are relative to something, and with an inquiring mind are translated into the same figures in order to estimate the level of trust. Because if these 5% are two million respondents, then it's a mess. But the figure 1801 is real and more credible. Real agencies will not run down the street and pester citizens like gypsies, and even more so walk from house to house, because the composition of the respondents is carefully selected from the point of view of an equally proportional composition by age, social status, etc. Levada and VTsIOM have their own respondents, whose composition is carefully balanced across all sections of the population. The rest are running around the apartments.

    Now about the essence of the question. That is, like McFaul pays Levada to "shape" public opinion through polls. Nonsense. There are cheaper and more effective ways to shape public opinion. For example, this article by a respected author.

    In fact, unlike VTsIOM and the government, our eventual adversary is interested in having real information about everything. All intelligence works on the analysis of 90% of open information. This is an axiom! Through Levada, the Americans will have information that they will not receive from VTsIOM (they do not trust VTsIOM, and neither do I). How they interpret this information and in the future will use it is another matter. They will close the Levada, they will find another way to get information. Nothing will change. But to catch up with phobias to the domestic man in the street under the guise of closing the "enemy agency that shapes public opinion", this is the only goal - to rally the herd around a ram leading the country along the path he knows.
    1. Manager
      Manager 10 June 2013 11: 08
      Quote: bunta

      I agree about the percentage. You should always take the real number of people, and not "50% of 2 people" for example.
      Quote: bunta
      That is, like McFaul pays Levada to "shape" public opinion through polls. Nonsense.

      Tu does not agree. There is real evidence. I will say more, they (not McFonll himself, of course) do not disdain and just go to gather a crowd of "pensioners" for money and put forward another "slag" to the masses, they say, how bad everything is. , in which 100 people are bought and 500 people who were led to these nonsense (rams). As a result, we have 1 McFaul shepherd, 100 commercial pigs and 500 rams. So much for all the statistics!
      1. Manager
        Manager 10 June 2013 11: 12
        Very suitable here.
    2. Whale
      Whale 10 June 2013 11: 14
      Unfortunately, the author does not understand a damn thing in sociology and statistics.
      And this also applies to you sir
    3. Egen
      Egen 10 June 2013 15: 47
      Sorry, Andrey, you are right and no.
      Quote: bunta
      Firstly, in order to find out what borsch consists of, there is no need to eat the whole boiler.

      That's right, there is such a concept as "representative sample", which is calculated from something. And the rest of what you say is like that ... But if, in your opinion, the author distorts, then you twist in the other direction, and the truth is somewhere ... nearby :))
      As I understand it, you understand matters, well, and I have experience in marketing for almost 20 years, so, honestly, :) admit that you have never composed questions so as to reach the desired result? :))
      Okay, the author is not a professional in this matter, but you probably know that the questionnaire itself is only 5% of all the work, so you can guess what’s behind the scenes ... :)))
  12. pahom54
    pahom54 10 June 2013 10: 38
    I completely agree that the so-called opinion polls always have before them - one way or another, FORMING a certain opinion in people, and not SHOW the opinion that is present in the majority. It is simply a manipulation of public consciousness.
  13. individual
    individual 10 June 2013 10: 51
    "Applied sociology has long been transformed from a classical form into something special, and has become one of the means not to take into account public opinion, but to form it."

    The very word sociology is used in the formation of the ideology of the opinion of an acceptable authority.
    Depending on power preferences a task public opinion.
  14. Ivanovich47
    Ivanovich47 10 June 2013 10: 57
    The media reported that the Levada Center received funding from foreign customers. These actions fell under the title foreign agent... We urgently had to give up foreign money. It is clear what "statistics" will be worked out by the Levada Center for foreign money.
  15. Titanium02
    Titanium02 10 June 2013 10: 58
    Yeah, fool our brother ...
  16. individual
    individual 10 June 2013 11: 00
    "That is an old song
    renunciation was
    - the legend of the joys of heaven.
    What are the stupid people feeding
    so that he does not ask for bread. "
  17. report4
    report4 10 June 2013 11: 04
    According to the sponsors of Levada, it is clear who, why and why contains such sharaby. Well, their polls are always striking enchanting delusions of raising questions.
  18. The comment was deleted.
  19. serge
    serge 10 June 2013 13: 29
    Most of the results of polls conducted for political purposes are blatant lies. Or, as you know, "The truth, nothing but the truth. But not the whole truth."
  20. Ulysses
    Ulysses 10 June 2013 15: 48
    The results of any survey depend on the correct preparation of the questions.
    In extreme cases, you can rewrite the totals.
  21. Ram chandra
    Ram chandra 10 June 2013 16: 19
    Well, nafik them - we are now chasing them when they knock on the door - who works with whom, where they live, nationality, pastafarian religion ..
  22. Just Vasilich
    Just Vasilich 10 June 2013 19: 30
    Alexey Volodin: To conduct your own - there will be citizens right away who will accuse us of a highly specialized audience here, the results of the survey of which cannot be extrapolated to the whole of Russian society.

    Such a survey is now on our website. Called "Assessment of statesmen and politicians". Here is the link:

    We are not going to extrapolate the results of this survey to the entire Russian society. Our general sample is visitors to the Military Review website. Among them there are so many personal opinions about our politicians of the past and present, that one should not expect productive discussions. The purpose of this survey is precisely to raise the quality of the discussion from the level of picking personal opinions to a higher level of generalized opinion. Although knowledge of a generalized opinion does not at all exclude the right to personal opinion. But there is an opportunity to compare your personal opinion with the generalized opinion of others. And perhaps ponder ...

    The survey started on June 5 and runs through June 20. It expressed the intention to participate more than 500 members of the forum. I believe that this number of respondents will be enough to talk about the representativeness of the sample.

    To participate in the survey, you must submit an application in any form to the email address [email protected] In a reply message, survey participants receive an Excel questionnaire file, which must be returned in the completed form. until 20 June 2013.

    Welcome to the project, mailbox [email protected] waiting for your applications!
    1. Egen
      Egen 11 June 2013 14: 11
      Quote: Just Vasilich
      Although knowledge of generalized opinion does not at all preclude the right to personal opinion. But there is an opportunity to compare your personal opinion with the generalized opinion of others. And perhaps ponder ...

      ... and change your own :)) this is what the author is talking about :))
  23. Klim
    Klim 10 June 2013 22: 03
    A public opinion poll is a kind of lifesaver, from the beginning powerful propaganda based on lies and then a poll, but the most unpleasant thing is that the state took this tool.
  24. Letnab
    Letnab 11 June 2013 03: 45
    Yes, on the same Odnoklassniki, a lot of polls, tests, and most have a clear direction, namely against the current government ... the answers themselves in the polls are set so that there is no choice ...
  25. strange and pretty meaningless
    strange and pretty meaningless 11 June 2013 04: 09
    We are controlled by the one who makes us angry. Lao Tzu
    I understand that shuffling the results of opinion polls (if we consider them reliable) is used to soften the brain, irritate the average person. At this moment, the infection itself is already attending itself - about the most powerful, the best.
    Quote: bunta
    But to catch up with phobias to the domestic man in the street under the guise of closing the "enemy agency that shapes public opinion", this is the only goal - to rally the herd around a ram leading the country along the path he knows.

    Yes, this ram doesn’t lead anyone anywhere !!! He balances on a bar of soap - that’s the whole performance. Forget about him already and think how to live on.
  26. The comment was deleted.
  27. Ivan Mechanic
    Ivan Mechanic 11 June 2013 11: 14
    Quote: Egen
    Although, on the other hand, it is clear even to a schoolboy that, by and large, there are no alternatives in the elections - everything is done before it was shown back in Operation Y :))
    You are quite difficult to understand! If we have no alternative where is there? In the USA between 2 operetta parties or in England? Where is the alternative? And what are real elections? This is when people choose with all the information in front of them. Tell me a state where clowns applying for the seats of presidents or deputies provide this very information in full. Moreover, tell us more about how many citizens of the country are able to adequately assess the economic calculations of the applicants (macro and micro). I'm not talking about citizens who understand politics and political science! So all this nonsense called democracy turns out to be nothing more than a show for the amusement of the crowd! Well, since the performance means that it has its own rules by which ours play. And by the way, they play quite well, unlike the so-called "civilized" countries of the West, where even this performance has ceased to play well
  28. Egen
    Egen 11 June 2013 14: 09
    Quote: Ivan Mechanic
    You are pretty hard to understand! If we do not have an alternative where is it?

    Yes, Ivan, why is it difficult to understand me, you are right, by and large, if there is no alternative then anywhere, and I kind of talk about the same :(
  29. Savva30
    Savva30 11 June 2013 21: 07
    Social surveys undoubtedly affect the minds of citizens.
    Therefore, there are:
    -centres of social research in the service of the Kremlin
    - centers of social research in the service of the West and our other "friends"