- “It is sort of noisy data,” says a political scientist quoted in the Chicago Trib article about the recent poll. What does he mean by “noisy”?
- Statistical noise is a term that simply means “unexplained variation” in a sample. A noisy poll is one that provides solid, interesting information without a full explanation of what that information means. The Gallup poll (read it here) provides interesting information about what states have residents that want to migrate, and some general information about why—work/business, family/friends, weather, etc. However, “it is often hard to say why people want to move,” the article says.
- What are some follow-up questions or polling techniques that might make the poll less noisy?
- Poll more people. The well-conducted poll interviewed 600 residents from each state. A greater sample size might provide greater insight.
- Ask their age. Are young, middle-aged, or older residents more desiring of a move? Does their age correspond to their reasons for wanting to leave—are younger people looking for better or more lucrative work, are older residents looking for a warmer, more stable weather?
- Ask for more information on their location. Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland (the three states with the most residents wanting to move) are incredibly diverse. They all have big, metropolitan cities as well as sparsely populated areas. Are more people wanting to move from rural or urban areas? “[I]t could be that [residents] have a problem with their city or local area more than their state,” says the expert in the article.
- Ask how long they’ve lived in the state. Are long-term residents more or less likely to want to move than new arrivals?
- Ask for more information about “work/business” and “quality of life” reasons for wanting to move. How do residents define “quality of life”? By “work/business”, are residents seeking more money in the same career, or pursue a completely different career path?
- Ask about their financial situation. Are wealthier residents more or less likely to want to leave than middle-class or poverty-stricken ones?
- If you could leave your state, would you? Why? Where would you move?
- Work through our activity “Creating a State Postcard.” Choose your own state, as well as a state or other place you might want to live in the future.
- What are the appealing physical characteristics of each area?
- What physical characteristics do the two places share? What are some differences?
- What are the appealing human characteristics of each area?
- What human characteristics do the two places share? What are some differences?