According to a very polite email I got today, a research team from the Psychology Department at New York University, headed by Professor Yaacov Trope and supported by the National Science Foundation, is investigating the cognitive causes of voting behavior, political preferences, and candidate evaluations throughout the course of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.
They're doing a study and in the hope of getting politically aware respondents are asking bloggers to pass on their request to fill out their survey. The study will, they hope, “shed light on the information people use to inform evaluations during the last few weeks before the election”. They “seek respondents of all political leanings from all over the country (and from the rest of the world)” to complete a 15-minute questionnaire, the responses to which they promise will be completely anonymous.
It looks legit.
One interesting aspect of the request is that I turn off comments on this item: “a necessary precaution we have to take in order to avoid the bias that is likely to result when new respondents see comments about the survey before taking it.” That sounds sensible, so I've complied with the request.
Another is that they want time series data:
…we would like to have respondents complete the survey throughout the days leading up to the Election. To this end, if would be ideal if you were willing to have the link appear (i.e., repost it) four times, in equally spaced out intervals (about every two weeks), with the first running asap and the last running several days prior to Election Day. Of course, if you would be willing to post it even once, it would already be a great help to us.
So, what the heck, I've queued it up for science. Excuse the repeats.
[slightly edited since the original posting]