Lecture 7 Public Opinion

Lecture 7 Public Opinion - Public Opinion PLSC 112 Lecture...

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Public Opinion PLSC 112 Lecture 7 What Is Public Opinion? *Public Opinion: “the views of the citizenry on a particular issue” *How Do People Form Political Opinions? *Through the process of Political Socialization Agents of Political Socialization *The Importance of Family (Example: political party affiliation) *The Schools and Educational Attainment (Pledge of Allegiance) *The Media *Opinion Leaders Agents of Political Socialization *Peer Groups – friends, classmates, club members, co-workers *Economic Status and Occupation (workplace and job profile) *Major Life Events (Great Depression, Vietnam War, 9/11) * Go to: http://www.gallup.com * Go to: http://www.publicagenda.org/ Measuring Public Opinion *What is a public opinion poll? *A numerical survey of the public’s opinion on a particular topic at a specific time *Measuring public opinion through samples *1936 Literary Digest Fiasco *Exit polls – wrong in 2000 Florida vote Sampling issues *Accurate Sampling Techniques *1) Random sample (1500-2000 for most Gallup polls) *2) No bias in poll questions Very difficult *3) Reliability of polls; importance of sampling error *Interviewer effect Measuring Public Opinion (cont’d) Go to http://www.pbs.org/democracy/readbetweenthelines/poll.html *Misuse of polls *Push Polls – “Fake” polling questions used to manipulate voters
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How are polls used? *As a tool for the government or an organization to
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Lecture 7 Public Opinion - Public Opinion PLSC 112 Lecture...

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