Gallup George(1901-84) US social researcher and pioneer in the development and application of modern SAMPLE survey techniques in the study of political attitudes and public opinion. So much is Gallup associated with the development of this mode of research, that this form of SOCIAL SURVEY is now often referred to as the Gallup poll. Gallup was among the first to show that an accurate gauging of voting intention and political ‘opinions’ was possible by the study of REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES of the electorate. Gallup believed that the use of his technique made governments and political parties more democratically responsive. Equally, however, the many commercially-run polling agencies that now sample political attitudes in countries across the world also provide governments with a useful tool in the advantageous timing of elections.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000