Gov Exam 2 Review - 1GOV 310L Exam 2 Review Chapter 5...

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1 GOV 310L Exam 2 Review Chapter 5 Public opinion - The aggregation of people’s views about issues, situations, and public figures. Sources of Public Opinion )Socialization - the end of all the processes by which social groups give individuals their beliefs and values - The single most important socializing agent is the family )Personal Experiences )Self-Interest - some people profit from a political party’s initiatives; others do not )Education - college graduates are predisposed to think about political issues differently; more likely to accept people different from themselves - more likely to view political involvement as a duty to carry out rather than as a chore to be avoided Political efficacy - the belief that the citizen can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion or acting politically )Reference Groups - members of various social groups often differ significantly in the opinions they hold )The Media Measuring Public Opinion Sampling error - The chance variation that arises in public opinion surveys as a result of using a representative, but small, sample to estimate the characteristics of a larger population. Selection bias - The distortion caused when a sampling method systematically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes from the sample. - if you only interview people at a peace convention then you haven’t gotten the majority Focus groups - Small groups of people brought together to talk about issues or candidates at length and in depth Measurement error - The error that arises from attempting to measure something as subjective as opinion - people’s opinions will vary depending on how a question is asked Question wording may. . 1) Confuse respondents (does it seem possible, or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jews never happened) 2) Prompt respondents to think about an issue in a certain way, leading questions (welfare? or, assistance to the poor? 3) Over simplify complex social issues (Do you think a pregnant woman should or should not be able to get a legal abortion, no matter what the reason?) Characteristics of Public Opinion Public Opinion is Uninformed
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Information costs - The time and mental effort required to absorb and store information, whether from conversations, personal experiences, or the media Issue public - A group of people particularly affected by, or concerned with, a specific issue Many of the opinions expressed in polls are not strongly held - even when survey data appear to support such claims, there is considerable evidence that many of the responses registered in public opinion surveys are not very strongly held Public opinion is not ideological - most Americans are not ideological, even when they have strong views on something, those views are not usually connected to each other. Ideology -
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Gov Exam 2 Review - 1GOV 310L Exam 2 Review Chapter 5...

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