Understanding Society - Summer 2009 - The Perils of Perception

There is a difficulty in measuring people's perceptions. This newsletter provides a framework for developing a more sophisticated understanding of what drives public attitudes.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute’s regular newsletter. It may seem strange for a public opinion organisation to be pointing out the difficulties involved in measuring perceptions (and we certainly wouldn’t argue against focusing on the needs of the citizen), but over the last few years we have shown that a simplistic use of perception targets is not enough, and involves significant risks. Instead, we need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of what drives public attitudes, so that we can deliver the improvements in services that citizens and government both want to see.

Our focus, in this newsletter and our work more generally, is to make sure that those making decisions have the best and most actionable information. We therefore hope you find this newsletter interesting, and as ever we always want to hear about your views of our work and the issues raised.

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