How a Likert Scale Survey Helped Vladimir Putin’s Trust Rating

Albina Zakharenko

13 years of experience in online marketing

Conducting polls and surveys sometimes turn out to be very tricky. Especially when it comes to analyzing data and particularly when the subject of research demands significant level of data accuracy.

In the article we will illustrate how it could have become possible that in June 2019 Vladimir Putin’s trust rating rose to over 70%, while in May 2019 it had been measured around 30%.

While political and social situations in Russia have not undergone drastic improvements, there still existed the possibility to double the overall trust rating score: in June 2019 a new rating method and a new way of processing poll results was introduced.

The Russian Public Opinion Research Center is conducting regular polls and surveys to measure the Trust and Mistrust Score of Russia’s most prominent politicians. The surveys are conducted by the center’s specialists in different regions choosing respondents on a random basis.

Below we simulate Method A and Method B, both of which are supposed to measure the same notion, but end up with two completely different outcomes.

1

Measuring Trust Score towards Politicians: Method A. It is an open question. Respondents can choose unlimited number of choices.

This survey has measured Vladimir Putin’s Trust Score as high as 31%

1. We all trust some people and do not trust others. And if we talk about politicians, who do you trust, and to whom would you not entrust the solution of important state issues?

Disclaimer: AidaForm online service was not used to conduct the poll. The form is used for illustration purposes only.

Survey Results: Method A

The Trust Score represents the percentage of respondents who have chosen a politician listed in the survey. About 30% of respondents show their trust in Putin V.V. and would entrust him to solve important state issues.

Trust Score May 26, 2019 June 02, 2019 June 09, 2019 June 16, 2019
Putin V.V. 30.5 31.5 31.1 31.9
Shoygu S.K. 15.1 15.0 13.2 13.5
Lavrov S.V. 12.0 11.5 11.4 11.3
Zhirinovsky V.V. 9.5 8.8 8.6 9.0
Medvedev D.A. 7.2 8.1 7.7 7.9

The Survey results are published by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center and are available at the official website. The link also provides a complete list of results per politician in Russian.

2

Measuring Trust Score towards Politicians: Method B. It is a closed question. Respondents have to rate every politician separately.

This survey has measured Vladimir Putin’s Trust Score as high as 71%

1. Please answer whether you trust or do not trust Putin V. V.

2. Please answer whether you trust or do not trust Medvedev D. A.

3. Please answer whether you trust or do not trust Zhirinovsky V. V.

Disclaimer: AidaForm online service was not used to conduct the poll and the form is used for illustration purposes only.

Survey Results: Method B

To calculate the overall Trust Score, the total number of the answers “Completely Trust” and “Rather Trust” is taken.

Trust Score 29.05.2019 30.05.2019 - 02.06.2019 03.06.2019 - 09.06.2019 10.06.2019 - 16.06.2019
Putin V.V. 72.3 72.4 71.7 72.3
Medvedev D.A. 37.0 39.0 37.8 38.5
Zhirinovsky V.V. 36.1 35.3 34.1 35.4

To calculate the overall Mistrust Score, the total number of the answers “Rather Mistrust” and “Completely Mistrust” is taken.

Mistrust Score 29.05.2019 30.05.2019 - 02.06.2019 03.06.2019 - 09.06.2019 10.06.2019 - 16.06.2019
Putin V.V. 23.7 24.3 25.0 24.7
Medvedev D.A. 58.1 57.3 57.7 57.1
Zhirinovsky V.V. 58.2 58.2 58.5 58.4

The Survey results are published by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center and are available at the official website. The link also provides a complete list of results per politician in Russian.

The results of the polls speak eloquently for themselves and provide interesting feedback not only to political analytics, but also to marketers measuring customer satisfaction and evaluating customer experience. A more precise survey question, e.g. “To whom would not you entrust…” leads to more precise answers. A more general question with answer choices that cannot be interpreted univocally, e.g. “Rather Trust” will simply not provide solid feedback to make conclusions and decisions. When preparing and conducting surveys and polls don’t forget about the obvious but very important basics. How you ask and what you ask do matter. And, of course, how you count and interpret results decides everything.

Best luck with conducting your polls and surveys. To find out more about the different types of rating scales and how to use them in the right way to really improve and develop your community, project or business, read What is a Likert Scale?

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