Confidence in US Federal Statistical Agencies

Jennifer Hunter Childs et al in Survey Practice: “Periodically, the US Federal Government suffers from negative publicity, decreasing the confidence and trust people have in the government. Consequently, the leaders of several federal statistical agencies were interested in knowing if their public image would suffer from negative publicity. The researchers used data gathered in the Gallup Daily Poll to analyze and understand if negative government perceptions would negatively influence the perception of federal statistical agencies. The results indicate that as level of knowledge about and use of federal statistics increases, respondents’ differentiation among government entities also increases. For example, the strength of the relationship between people’s confidence in federal statistical agencies increased, whereas, the confidence in Congress and the military decreased. When confidence in Congress is particularly poor, results support the notion that increasing knowledge about the statistical system and increasing the public’s use of statistical data (through programs like the Census Bureau’s “Statistics in Schools”) could help people differentiate between sectors of the government, consequently increasing confidence in federal statistical agencies….(More)”