Crowdsourced Adaptive Surveys

22 January 2024, Version 2
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Public opinion surveys are vital for informing democratic decision-making, but responding to rapidly changing information environments and measuring beliefs within niche communities can be challenging for traditional survey methods. This paper introduces a crowdsourced adaptive survey methodology that unites advances in natural language processing and adaptive algorithms to generate question banks that evolve with user input. The CSAS method converts open-ended text provided by participants into Likert items, and applies a multi-armed bandit algorithm to determine user-provided questions that should be prioritized. The method’s adaptive nature allows for the exploration of new survey questions, while imposing minimal costs in survey length. Applications in the domains of Latino information environments and issue importance showcase CSAS’s ability to identify claims or issues that might otherwise be difficult to track using standard approaches. I conclude by discussing the method’s potential for studying topics where participant-generated content might improve our understanding of public opinion.


adaptive algorithms
large language models
natural language processing
Latino politics
public opinion


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