As an institute specialising in electoral and political research, Infratest dimap bears a particular responsibility towards the public whose opinions, attitudes and behaviour it surveys, recognising that electoral and political research has a special status within the broader field of empirical research.
- It touches on a field of particular sensitivity in a constitutional democracy.
- Surveys are generally commissioned by the media, who, in most cases, publish the findings. The media, and thus the audience they reach, have a right to expect meticulous research results which have been attained in accordance to scientific standards and which present to them an accurate picture of a given reality.
- In view of the exceptional public attention the findings enjoy, they are “an important element of the concern of modern society with itself”, as the renowned electoral researcher Prof Max Kaase puts it.
Infratest dimap understands the high expectations placed on electoral and political research as a commitment
- to uphold excellent methodical standards
- to strictly preserve the respondents’ anonymity
- to handle the collected data particularly sensitive
- to political neutrality
- and to the greatest-possible degree of transparency.
Infratest dimap provides such transparency by publishing “study profiles” for individual surveys on this website. As demanded by the pertinent trade and professional associations, these profiles contain information on how the respective findings were accomplished. This information covers
- the survey period
- the sample size
- the target group
- the surveying method used
- and the error margin (possible deviation of findings from actual reality).
Such data is not published as a matter of course in our industry. But Infratest dimap still tops that by providing documentation of the precise question wording as well as the key findings of its surveys. This information allows experts and practitioners to assess the scientific quality and political value of our surveys (extending well beyond the value of our findings on voting intention alone).