Author Archives: IQS Research

Understanding Research – Political Polls and Their Context

Date: October 26, 2012 | IQS Research | News | Comments Off on Understanding Research – Political Polls and Their Context

Yesterday, the President of IQS Research Shawn Herbig spent an hour on the radio discussing some of the intricacies involved in the research and polling process.  Given the current election season, one thing we know for certain is that there is no shortage of polling results being released.

So that begs the question, how do we know which polls are right and which are not?  Is each new poll released on a daily basis reflecting real changes in how we think about the candidates?  Is polling and research indicative of emotions or behaviors, or both?  These are some the things Herbig tackled yesterday.

We posted a discussion late last year about how it may be a good idea to look at what are called polls of  polls, which take into consideration the summation of research done on a particular topic (in this case, political polling).  This will help to “weed out” fluff polls that may not be very accurate, and to place a heavier emphasis on the trend rather than specific points in time.

But beyond this, understanding the the  methodology behind polls is useful when deciding whether or not those results are reliable.  A few things to note:

1. What is the sample size? – Political polls in particular are attempting to gauge what an entire country of over 200 million registered voters think about an election.  A sample size needs to be 385 to be representative of a population of 200 million.  But oftentimes you see polls with around 1,000 respondents.  Oversampling allows researchers to make cuts in the data (say, what women think , or what what African Americans think) and still maintain a comfortable confidence level in the results.

2. How was the sample collected? – Polls on the internet, or ones that are done on media websites, aren’t too trustworthy.  They attract a particular group of respondents, thus skewing the results one way or another.  Scientific research maintains that a sample must be collected randomly in order for those results to be Representative in a population.  In other words, each person selected for a political poll, for instance, must have an equal chance to be selected as any other person in the population.

3.  Understand the context of poll/research – When the poll was taken is crucial in understanding what it is telling us.  For instance, there was a lot of polling done after each one of the presidential debates.  Not only did researchers ask who won the debate, but they also asked who those being polled were going to vote for.  After the first debate (which we could argue went in Romney’s favor), most polls showed the lead Obama had going into the debate had vanished.  Several polls showed Romney with a sizable lead.  But was this a statistical push due to the recent debate and the emotion surrounding it? Or was this increase real?

Recent polls show a leveling between the two candidates now that the debates are over, and a more objective look at the candidates can be achieved.  However, it is nearly impossible to eliminate emotion in responses, especially in a context as controversial a politics.

4. Interpreting Results – Interpretation ties in nicely with understanding the context of the research that you are viewing.  But there is a task for each of us as we interpret, and that is to leave behind our preconceived notions about the results.  This is very hard to do, as it is a natural human instinct to believe what justifies our own reasoning.  This is know as Confirmation Bias, and it can impact the way we accept or discount the research.

Taking all this into account can help us to sift through the commotion and find the value of the research being produced.  This isn’t just for political polling, but can be used for all research that you encounter.  Being good consumers of research can take a lot of effort, but it is the only way to gain a more realistic view of the world around you.

view all

IQS Research Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at 2012 GLIDE

Date: October 19, 2012 | IQS Research | News | Comments Off on IQS Research Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at 2012 GLIDE

This year, Greater Louisville Inc., the chamber of commerce for the Metro Louisville business community, is holding it’s annual GLIDE event in Oklahoma City.  The program kicks off this coming Sunday (10/21), and will highlight the exciting and progressive initiatives happening in OKC to encourage leadership and growth in our own community.

IQS Research is happy to be a part of this event for many years now.  But there is something else IQS is proud of.  For the second year, Shawn Herbig, President of IQS Research, is organizing a fitness run on Monday morning (10/22) for those who are interested in keeping a healthy lifestyle.  The goal of this annual GLIDE run is to start the day off energized for all that the program has in store, and it promotes keeping your body healthy and fit.  Those participating in this year’s run will receive a bag full of running “goodies” (pictured).

We would also like to thank Fleet Feet Sports for their support and help with this for a second year!

Shawn and IQS Research are once again glad to sponsor this run and to get people moving!


view all

IQS Welcomes Grant Roberts to its Research Team

Date: September 7, 2012 | IQS Research | News | Comments Off on IQS Welcomes Grant Roberts to its Research Team

IQS Research would like to introduce the newest member to our team, Grant Roberts.  Grant comes to us from Bellarmine University, where he is completing his Masters in Communication.  His expertise resides in the areas of social interactions, media and cultural studies, and quantitative methodologies.

Grant’s unique skills contribute to our already broad lens by which we conduct our research, and his background in social science will prove to complement well the valuable insights that IQS Research has always provided.

Grant’s additional background includes Miami University, where he earned a B.S. in political science, and is also an active member of the University of Louisville’s R.O.T.C. program and United States Army.

Welcome, Grant!

Grant can be reached at
-or at 502-244-6600 ext. 304


view all

Special Report Released – Preparing Students to Transition from High School to College

Date: August 14, 2012 | IQS Research | News | Comments Off on Special Report Released – Preparing Students to Transition from High School to College

As students prepare to begin another school year we are once again faced with a challenge where so many students believe they will be ready to go to college but in reality they lack several of the critical attitudes and behaviors that are necessary to become successful.  What’s more, the time to gain these skills is now, when the students are in high school and even middle school.

A special report by Louisville based IQS Research outlines several of the inaccurate beliefs that are held by students today and what can be done to address these concerns.  This report is titled Preparing Students To Transition from High School to College – A review of the perceptions surrounding college and the challenges students face as they prepare for their collegiate experience.

Some of the findings from the report include:

  • Some 98% of students intend to go to college but in reality only 68% of them will enroll in college within 1 year of graduating.
  • Of the students who do enroll in college 42% will not complete their degree in six years.
  • Of those students seeking an associate’s degree, a surprising 71% will not complete their degree in 3 years.
  • While math and science skills are mandatory for success in college only 53% of parents believe math is important and only 26% of parents believe science is important for college success.
  • Even though high school counselors can be a great source of college information many students are apprehensive about using this resource.
  • High performing students are almost 50% more likely to reach out to their teachers than low performing students.
  • Students who hear about college earlier in their lives are more inclined to believe it is important.
  • Many students believe college will be just a continuation of their high school experience.

“There is work to be done to change the college success rate.  However, contrary to popular belief, those changes need to occur earlier than originally thought and need to extend beyond academic preparedness” said Shawn Herbig, president of IQS Research.

The report is available now on the IQS Research website or by clicking here.

view all