Chapter 5 - Public Opinion

Chapter 5 - Public Opinion - Public Opinion Public Opinion...

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Unformatted text preview: Public Opinion Public Opinion What is public opinion and how is it formed? How do we measure public opinion? What are the characteristics of public opinion? How does public opinion relate to government policy? What is Public Opinion? The aggregation of peoples views about issues, situations, and public figures Fundamental to democracy Need not be actively expressed Law of anticipated reactions Public opinion influences government even though it does so indirectly and passively. Sources of Public Opinion Socialization Personal Experiences Self-Interest Reference Groups The Media Education Political efficacy Measuring Public Opinion You cant possibly understand the views of hundreds of millions of Americans by polling just a thousand people Actually, you can in many ways But there are several things to keep in mind. Measuring Public Opinion: Three Sources of Error Sampling error Selection bias Measurement error Measuring Public Opinion Sampling Error the error that arises in the public opinion survey as a result of relying on a representative, but small, sample of the larger population Margin of error The answers provided by a random sample of 1500 Americans on any political question would fall within 3 percentage points of national opinion 95 percent of the time. Larger polls produce more precise estimates of public opinion. QuickTime and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Measuring Public Opinion : Selection Bias Def: The error that occurs when a sample systematically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes If a survey has selection bias it will NOT be representative of the larger population....
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2008 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Summer '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Chapter 5 - Public Opinion - Public Opinion Public Opinion...

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