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Grady, "Misunderstanding in Clinical Research: Distinguishing Therapeutic Misconception, Therapeutic Misestimation, and Therapeutic Optimism," IRB: Ethics & Human Research 25 (2003): 11-16.
Campaign Polls and the Misestimations of Party Support in Quebec
For each election and each party, the first and the second cells in the table present the average degrees of over- or underestimation of party support in campaign polls, the first cell presenting these misestimations by comparing the official actual vote with net vote intentions, that is, after proportional (prorata) reallocations of undeclared intentions, and the second cell, by comparing the official actual vote with raw intentions, that is, before any reallocation.
The methodological problems of polls, and in particular sampling problems, are among the causes most often hypothesized to be the sources of misestimations.
Rather than attributing the sources of the errors to sampling problems, some researchers have claimed that the poll misestimations they examined stemmed from the fact that late shifts in voters' preferences had occurred between the last polls of a campaign and voting day.
11) Hence the spiral of silence can neither be relied upon to explain poll misestimations in Quebec nor most of those in the other instances just cited.
According to a somewhat different hypothesis, misestimations in polls would result from the unwillingness of some respondents to reveal their true preference because they feel social pressures to give false, but socially acceptable or desirable, responses.
Two distinct but related lines of empirical research have directly addressed this issue: One asks if there is evidence of statistically significant misestimation in the original reserve (Forbes, 1970; Anderson, 1971; Balcarek, 1975; Ansley, 1979; Smith, 1980); the other asks if misestimation of the original reserve can be explained in terms of income smoothing behavior (Smith, 1980; Weiss, 1985; Grace, 1990).
As a result of addressing these questions, we also extend the existing loss reserve error literature by providing evidence of significant reserve misestimation during the period from 1977 through 1987.
For each year of development, these individual observations are then aggregated into separate samples and examined for evidence of statistically significant misestimation by testing the first hypothesis--that, with respect to the calendar-accident year reserve originally established in year t, the mean error indicated by reserve error measurements taken after n years of loss development is equal to zero--against the alternative--that the mean error is not zero.