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WHY do people think what they think?

A Viewpoint Map distills viewpoints to digestible format so one can calmly consider them without distracting confrontation.

This map addresses Miami Beach residents’ perspectives on crime levels in 2022. It is a follow-up to a survey on the same topic in October 2021. In 2021 we surveyed to understand if citizens thought crime was a serious problem and if so, what they thought was causing it. In 2022 we surveyed to assess if sentiment had changed.

With that, now one may:

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Our reporting DOES NOT IMPLY ACCURACY OF THESE VIEWS, nor our support for any of them. This initiative seeks only to understand viewpoints, not to confirm, nor contest them.

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In the original, 2021 survey, we encouraged respondents to contribute written explanations of their views. There is a rich collection of over 100 comments, elaborating on all of the viewpoints below, available in the ViewPoint Map for the 2021 survey. You may review those on that page. In the 2022 survey we did not solicit extemporaneous comments. Instead, below we simply provide the detailed language associated with each cause in the survey.

People who feel crime has worsened in Miami Beach cite these causes:
(ranked according to survey results)

Summary: People who feel crime has NOT worsened cite these alternative explanations:
(ranked according to survey results)

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(preliminary, through 24May22)

We wanted to know how many people held each of the views reported above. Therefore, we conducted a survey in May 2022 to (a) identify the full range of reasons people held their view on crime and (b) roughly assess which of those reasons are most commonly shared.

Important methodology details are at bottom. This was not a scientific survey; results are directional, not conclusive and should be considered in the context of broader data sources. Their MAIN utility is to characterize which perspectives are most commonly held; to filter the most common from the fringe. It is not designed to precisely measure sentiment, particularly in the broader, offline population. We make no representations about its accuracy nor fitness for any purpose.

With those caveats, respondents reported living or working in the following areas, all Miami Beach:

Is Crime a problem?

Most respondents felt crime was currently a meaningful problem.

If so, what is responsible for the crime?

If not, then how does one describe the current crime climate?

(Note: sample size of respondents in this group was too small to draw useful conclusions.)

Is crime worse in certain areas of Miami Beach than in others?

What information sources influenced respondents’ views on crime?

Observations on survey:

  • The responses shown in the charts are shorthand for the full text choices shown in the summary above.
  • It is important to consider how these results are useful and how they are not. Their MAIN utility is to characterize which perspectives are most commonly held; to filter the most common from the fringe. Policy-makers can then know which public concerns to respond to.

    This approach is not designed to precisely measure sentiment, particularly in the broader, offline population. There are skews associated with the facts that the survey was done online and participants self-selected.

    So, for example, we wouldn’t put a lot of faith in the precise percent of people who think crime is a serious problem. But we would view as useful the findings around which causes are of widely-shared concern and which are not.
  • Sample size. Sample size in the 2022 survey of 76 respondents would be sufficient for a 10% margin of error with 90% confidence, had the respondents been randomly selected from the overall population. Within a community of 82,890 residents (census, April 2020), for a 90% confidence level one would want 68 responses (see Qualtrics). However, respondents self-selected to participate from an exclusively online population, therefore skews likely exist, as discussed below.
  • Additional observations will be posted as appropriate, including a comparison of these results with those in 2021.

Notes on Methodology:

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This is an initiative of Project LISTEN, one of the programs to overcome divisive partisanship. Learn more about Project LISTEN’s surveys of political perspectives.

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