Wk 5 ch 6 outline.docx

Wk 5 ch 6 outline.docx - WHAT IS PUBLIC OPINION Public...

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WHAT IS PUBLIC OPINION? Public opinion : what government should be doing, evaluations of what government is doing, and judgments about elected officials and others who participate in the political process, as well as the wider set of beliefs that shape these opinions How people form opinions: When opinions are formed on the spot, they are based on considerations , the pieces of relevant information—such as ideology, party identification, religious beliefs, personal circumstances, and so on— that come to mind when the opinion is requested. Opinions may change as people call up different considerations to form them. Such variation reflects how the average person thinks and develops opinions. WHERE DO OPINIONS COME FROM? Socialization: families and communities: Theories of political socialization show that many people's political opinions and partisanship start with what they learned from their parents and surrounding environment. Events: Some events have a greater impact than others, and some people are more likely to change their opinion in response to an event than others. Group identity: Social categories or groups, such as gender, race, or education level, may influence an individual's opinion. Called cohort effects, these characteristics might shape opinion in four ways: 1. People experienced the same historical events at similar points in their lives.
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