Ideodynamics is a new mathematical model able to predict time trends of public opinion based on information in the mass media. Using this model and a new method of computer content analysis applied to Associated Press stories retrieved from the Nexis electronic data base, it was possible to forecast actual opinion poll results for the American Presidential election of 1988 with very high accuracy. The average deviation between the computer predicted values and over 120 measured poll values was 2.7 per cent for George Bush versus Michael Dukakis. On election day, the deviation was 2 per cent.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
• This research was funded in part by US Public Health Service Research Grant MH-39610. The authors wish to thank C McCaa and T. Kjellxtrand for assisting with the design of the text analysis and the running of the computer programs.