Can’t get no (net) satisfaction

I’m happy to see that Manolo Quezon, the country’s most influential political blogger, has finally come to believe in the gospel of “net dissatisfaction.”

I’ve come to be convinced by the view of Philippine Commentary that “net satisfaction” ratings are at best, misleading, and in general, a bogus figure. Better to focus on the numbers expressing satisfaction, and then the numbers expressing dissatisfaction, but don’t subtract one from the other.

I preached the same gospel 15 months ago, in a post titled “Net Dissatisfaction.”

One thing I’m sure of: The net rating, as an input for analysis, can be misleading. (Is this perhaps the reason why countries with a longer tradition of opinion polling, such as the US and the UK, do not use net scores?) ….

But the emphasis on the net scores (GMA’s net satisfaction rating had gone down to -30, her second-worst ever) makes it harder to understand what it is people really are saying. The real story lies in the actual satisfaction and dissatisfaction numbers, not in the (extrapolated) differential.

Philippine Commentary (Dean Bocobo, of course, the prophet of numeracy) was kind enough to leave the following comment, after reading that post:

The NET SATISFACTION RATING (positive minus negative) is a perfectly good statistic. But what most media don’t seem to know is that as a statistic it has TWICE THE ERROR as the individual components. So if you are CALCULATING NSR from a survey with 1200 respondents, the raw data has an error margin of about plus or minus 3% (actually its one over the square root of 1200, but never mind), the MARGIN OF ERROR in the NSR is PLUS OR MINUS 6%

Okay. That makes three of us. Plus or minus.


Leave a comment

Filed under Readings in Media, Readings in Politics

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s