In contemporary usage, public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by a population (e.g., a city, state, or country), while consumer opinion is the similar aggregate collected as part of marketing research (e.g., opinions of users of a particular product or service).
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Typically, because the process of gathering opinions from all individuals are difficult, expensive, or impossible to obtain, public opinion (or consumer opinion) is estimated using survey sampling (e.g., with a representative sample of a population).
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