Nick Allum

Nick Allum
University of Essex · Department of Sociology

Phd, Social Psychology

About

75
Publications
42,603
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Publications

Publications (75)
Article
Full-text available
Background This study investigates the extent to which the GHQ-12 exhibits configural, metric and scalar invariance across six ethnic groups in Britain and Northern Ireland, using the UK Household Longitudinal Study ( N = 35 410). Methods A confirmatory factor analysis was carried out on a white British group in order to establish an adequate meas...
Article
Full-text available
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02847-8
Chapter
p>In social science, we typically work with measures that are laden with errors. Theories are generally couched in terms of constructs or phenomena that are unobserved or unobservable but nevertheless have empirical implications. It is these unobservable indicators that we actually analyze. Hence, an important preliminary task for an analyst is to...
Article
Full-text available
We examine international public opinion towards stem-cell research during the period when the issue was at its most contentious. We draw upon representative sample surveys in Europe and North America, fielded in 2005 and find that the majority of people in Europe, Canada and the United States supported stem-cell research, providing it was tightly r...
Conference Paper
A key concern about the web survey data quality is difficulty garnering a probability sample because there are no good frames of email addresses for a general population. In a panel survey, it is possible to switch respondents to web mode after initial recruitment via face to face methods (F2F), thus mitigating the problem of sample selection and a...
Conference Paper
In some areas of science, beliefs and attitudes among citizens are becoming increasingly polarised, even politicised, despite all sides having access to the same information. Why? In this paper we examine the distinct roles of information and misinformation in explaining public mistrust of early-childhood vaccination programmes. We show how persona...
Article
Full-text available
The latest Eurobarometer survey on the Life Sciences and Biotechnology, based on representative samples from 32 European countries and conducted in February 2010, points to a new era in the relations between science and society. While entrenched views about GM food are still evident, the crisis of confidence in technology and regulation that charac...
Article
Full-text available
The use of genetics in medical research is one of the most important avenues currently being explored to enhance human health. For some, the idea that we can intervene in the mechanisms of human existence at such a fundamental level can be at minimum worrying and at most repugnant. In particular, religious doctrines are likely to collide with the r...
Data
Full-text available
Since 1991, the triennial Eurobarometer survey has assessed public attitudes about biotech and the life sciences in Europe. The latest 2010 Eurobarometer survey on the Life Sciences and Biotechnology (http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/europeans-biotechnology-in-2010_en.pdf), based on representative samples from 32...
Article
Full-text available
Proponents of controversial Complementary and Alternative Medicines, such as homeopathy, argue that these treatments can be used with great effect in addition to, and sometimes instead of, 'conventional' medicine. In doing so, they accept the idea that the scientific approach to the evaluation of treatment does not undermine use of and support for...
Article
Proponents of complementary and alternative medicine argue that these treatments can be used with great effect in addition to, and sometimes instead of, conventional medicine, a position which has drawn sustained opposition from those who advocate an evidence-based approach to the evaluation of treatment efficacy. Using recent survey data from the...
Article
Full-text available
Social, or ’generalized‘, trust refers to beliefs that people hold about how other people in society will in general act towards them. Can people in general be trusted? Or must one be careful in dealing with people? Research on the antecedents of social trust has typically relied on cross-sectional regression estimators to evaluate putative causes....
Article
Full-text available
The primary method by which social scientists describe public opinion about science and technology is to present frequencies from fixed response survey questions and to use multivariate statistical models to predict where different groups stand with regard to perceptions of risk and benefit. Such an approach requires measures of individual preferen...
Article
Citizens in both North America and Europe are apt to read horoscope columns in newspapers and magazines. While some people read these casually and purely for entertainment, some believe that astrology has scientific status and can provide real insight into events and personality. Using data from a European survey, this article explores some of the...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1991, the triennial Eurobarometer survey has assessed public attitudes about biotech and the life sciences in Europe. The latest 2010 Eurobarometer survey on the Life Sciences and Biotechnology (http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/europeans-biotechnology-in-2010_en.pdf), based on representative samples from 32...
Article
Full-text available
We use a multi-level modelling approach to estimate the effect of ethnic diversity on measures of generalized and strategic trust using data from a new survey in Britain with a sample size approaching 25,000 individuals. In addition to the ethnic diversity of neighbourhoods, we incorporate a range of indicators of the socio-economic characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Respondents in long telephone survey interviews may adopt satisficing strategies as they approach the end of the questionnaire (Holbrook, Green and Krosnick, 2003). However, there is inconsistency regarding the relationship between questionnaire length and different forms of satisficing. We investigate whether long questionnaires are associated wit...
Chapter
Full-text available
The authors of this chapter examine data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and, using structural equation modelling techniques, develop measures for three elements of social capital; social trust, institutional trust and civic association. The analysis explores how these three elements are related after controlling for a range of social and psy...
Article
Social, or ‘generalized’ trust is often characterised as the ‘attitudinal dimension’ of social capital. It has been posited as key to a host of normatively desirable outcomes at the societal and individual levels. Yet the origins of individual variation in trust remain something of a mystery and continue to be a source of dissensus amongst research...
Article
Full-text available
In a series of articles, Mondak and colleagues argue that the conventional way of measuring political knowledge in surveys is flawed. Personality related “propensity to guess” underestimates the level of political knowledge in the population and distorts estimates of between group differences, when a DK alternative is offered. This has led Mondak t...
Chapter
rounds of the panel may be influenced by those given in earlier waves. The majority of empirical investigations of panel conditioning effects have focused on estimating biases in marginal totals of behavioural frequency, such as electoral turnout (Clausen 1969), consumer spending (Pennell and Lepkowski 1992) and alcohol and drug use (Johnson, Gerst...
Book
This collection brings together the key publications on the secondary analysis of data and embraces many aspects of how to analyse quantitative survey data, whether primary or secondary. As secondary analysis, defined as use of data that was collected by individuals other than the investigator, is often a starting point for other social science res...
Article
Full-text available
The correlation between knowledge and attitudes has been the source of controversy in research on the public understanding of science (PUS). Although many studies, both quantitative and qualitative, have examined this issue, the results are at best diverse and at worst contradictory. In this paper, we review the evidence on the relationship between...
Article
In a series of articles, Mondak and colleagues argue that the conventional way of measuring political knowledge in surveys is flawed. Personality related "propensity to guess" underestimates the level of political knowledge in the population and distorts estimates of between group differences, when a DK alternative is offered. This has led Mondak t...
Article
Few scholars doubt the importance of trust in explaining variation in public perception of technological risk. Relatively little, however, is known about the particular types of judgments that people use in granting or withholding trust. This article presents findings from an empirical study that explores several dimensions of trust relevant for ci...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT The vast majority of studies ,investigating the ,antecedents of interpersonal trust are limited by their reliance on cross-sectional data. In this paper, we make use of high- quality repeated measures data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to examine the effect of a range of theoreticallyrelated explanatory variables on subseq...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews key issues of public understanding of science (PUS) research over the last quarter of a century. We show how the discussion has moved in relation to large-scale surveys of public perceptions by tracing developments through three paradigms: science literacy, public understanding of science and science and society. Naming matters h...
Article
This report sets out the findings of a review of existing survey-based investigations of public knowledge, interest and attitudes to biomedical science among adult populations (18+) throughout the world since 1980. The review of research conducted with adults aimed to: determine what survey research has been done to date internationally in this are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper offers a theoretical treatise that bridges the social and the psychological in risk perception research. We first outline research into the psychology of risk. We then speculate on the idea that people develop a structured narrative to risk, which includes morality, trust, and the dense social meaning of a danger and its impact. From thi...
Article
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Opinion pollsters, political scientists, and democratic theorists have long been concerned with the normative and methodological implications of nonattitudes (Converse 1964). Of the proposed remedies to the weak and labile attitudinal responses proffered by an uninformed and disinterested public, perhaps the most ambitious to date has been Fishkin’...
Article
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Sociology, information and computer sciences, communications, and economics are among the perspectives of 15 papers commissioned by the British government's Foresight project on Cyber Trust and Crime prevention. The project was charged with exploring the application and implications of new generations of information and communication technologies i...
Article
Full-text available
Political knowledge has been shown to influence a host of substantively important outcomes, such as participation, issue preference and vote choice. The causes of individual heterogeneity in knowledge have gone relatively unexplored however. What leads some individuals to become political sophisticates and others not? Generally, motivation has been...
Article
Full-text available
Public opposition to genetically modified (GM) food and crops is widely interpreted as the result of the public's misperception of the risks. With scientific assessment pointing to no unique risks from GM crops and foods, a strategy of accurate risk communication from trusted sources has been advocated. This is based on the assumption that the bene...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘deficit model’ of public attitudes towards science has led to controversy over the role of scientific knowledge in explaining lay people’s attitudes towards science. The most sustained critique has come from what we refer to as the ‘contextualist’ perspective. In this view, people’s understanding of the ways in which science is embedded within...
Article
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this report do not represent those of DG Research
Article
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The 1991-2002 Eurobarometer surveys show a steady decline in optimism about biotechnology in the United Kingdom (UK) through the 1990s. After 1999, there is more optimism and less opposition to agri-food biotechnologies. The paper discusses possible causes of these changes and argues that the UK public is still open to persuasion.
Article
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The latest European sample survey of public perceptions of biotechnology reveals widespread opposition to genetically modified (GM) food in much of Europe, but public attitudes to medical and environmental applications remain positive.
Article
Full-text available
The latest European sample survey of public perceptions of biotechnology reveals widespread opposition to genetically modified (GM) food in much of Europe, but public attitudes to medical and environmental applications remain positive.
Article
Full-text available
Recent controversies about genetically modified foods in the United Kingdom and several other European countries highlight the apparent differences that exist in public opinion on this subject across the Atlantic. Why are people in the United States seemingly untroubled by a technology that causes Europeans so many difficulties? The results of surv...
Article
ABSTRACT Social, or inter-personal trust is often characterised as the ‘attitudinal dimension’ of social capital. It has been ,posited ,as key ,to a ,hos