Department of Political Science

West Chester University

Contact Info:
Tara Easterling
205 Ruby Jones Hall
610-436-2743
teasterling@wcupa.edu


Center for Social and Economic Research

Purpose

The Center for Social and Economic Research at West Chester University specializes in public opinion research. We provide up-to-date quantitative research, combining superior service with academic expertise. 

Objectives 

 - To increase the accessibility of faculty resources to the West Chester community.
 - To provide opportunities for students and faculty to apply research skills by working with the community while also expanding their expertise.
 - To assist local economic efforts by providing expertise and support for conducting marketing and opinion surveys, evaluation studies, and other types of attitudinal research.
 - To provide a cost-effective source of research services for the West Chester community.
 - To enhance the quality of research activities through peer review and interdisciplinary cooperation exchange.
 - To provide the West Chester community with a locally based resource to assist in the economic development of the area.
 - To allow West Chester University to gain a measure of visibility in the business/industrial community through services provided by the Center.

Surveys

Our training in empirical research guarantees that the utmost attention and precision are taken at each phase of the survey process so that survey results accurately represent the population at large. Since the information obtained in survey research is only as reliable as each step of the process, each detail is critical when making inferences from results for campaign or marketing strategies. 

We employ higher standards than the average market research firm. For instance, the typical polling organization calls each respondent in the sample only 2 to 3 times. We use 5 to 6 callbacks to assure maximum representativeness of the sample. Yet this commitment to excellence ensures more accurate data, not higher costs.
We employ higher standards than the average market research firm. For instance, the typical polling organization calls each respondent in the sample only 2 to 3 times. We use 5 to 6 callbacks to assure maximum representativeness of the sample. Yet this commitment to excellence ensures more accurate data, not higher costs.

Political Polls

Specific campaign planning can be achieved through a series of surveys conducted over the course of a campaign period. These include: 

Benchmark polls - initial surveys used to test candidates name recognition, assess the strength of any opposition and gauge the positive and negative attributes of the candidate. 

Follow-up studies - surveys which generally provide more detailed information on issue positions and the extent of group support. 

Tracking polls - surveys used later in the campaign to carefully monitor the candidate's support and measure the impact of opposition advertising, media coverage, and debates.

Focus Groups

This type of research uses small groups of adults, typically 8 to 10 individuals from varying backgrounds, who, with the assistance of a moderator, evaluate products and marketing strategies. The respondents are videotaped during the session and their responses are later analyzed using qualitative techniques. Focus groups produce in-depth information about consumers' perceptions and the effectiveness of advertising and themes.

Experiments

Contrary to popular belief, experimental research is not the sole domain of psychologists and medical researchers. Experimental and quasi-experimental studies are invaluable tools for acquiring information about market strategies. The experimental process allows us to manipulate crucial factors such as product advertising, image, or candidates' policy positions in order to determine the impact of such factors on decision making.

Policy Evaluations

We offer a broad range of integrated policy analysis packages designed to assess the conceptualization, design, implementation and utility of current of proposed government policies. Policy evaluation summaries will assist you in answering questions pertaining to the nature of the policy problem, strategic interventions, the appropriate target population, as well as an assessment of the program's viability, cost efficiency, and effectiveness.

Our Clients

    - WCAU Channel 10 (Philadelphia NBC affiliate)
    - United Way of Chester County
    - Insights Unlimited
    - Meridian Group
    - Zoasis
    - Borough of West Chester
    - West Chester University

Contact Us

Dr. R. Lorraine Bernotsky
LBernotsky@wcupa.edu