How much can we predict?

Ben Page
MORI Social Research Institute

Over the past two decades, MORI has specialised in local studies looking at quality of life and perceptions of local services. In the last five years the availability of important new datasets such as the Index of Multiple Deprivation at ward level and below has allowed us to identify a range of factors that seem to correlate strongly with positive or negative attitudes. What is important here is that many of these factors are not so much about the innate nature of individual respondents their age, gender and so on but about the nature of the communities and places in which they live. The implications of this work are that if one is comparing survey results from different types of area and, for example, trying to assess comparative levels of satisfaction with different services, it will be important to be very sensitive to these factors, as they may explain a good deal of 'satisfaction' on their own, irrespective of the good or bad performance of an individual local service provider.