100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 43 pages.
PSCI 230501/18Public opinion– “preference of the adult population on matters of importance to government” about “issues, candidates, officials, parties, groups”Salience – how important is the issue; omost issues are unimportant to most votersoIssues can move from obscurity to salience quickly sometimes when media seizes on an issue or uncovers a scandaloevery issue is really important to some groupsalience & VisibilityoSalience often overlaps with, but is not the same as visibility, or public awareness of an issueoOn some issues salience and visibility are critical for governmental action, but sometimes individuals and organizations want to keep a low profileoObscurity can be a good thing in the law for those it benefits, for example, here is a portion of our tax codeIntensity of opinion –NRA – if people feel intensely about an issue they are more likely to vote, if people are more likely to vote, elected and unelected officials will be more likely to listen to themDirection – whether public favors or opposes/ approves of the job the president is doing, or disapproves
Knowledge of the issues – opinions may be more volatile or reflect a great lack of knowledge on some issues, such as domestic versus foreign policy issues.oWhat does the public think is fact, and what is actually the reality. Foreign AidStability – speed with which change occurs on opinion – presidential popularity changes quickly; partisan identification changes slowlyoChange in support for recreational marijuana and gay marriageWhy do we care about public opinion?oPopular sovereignty – we are a democracy!oLegislators as delegates or trustees?Is public opinion the same thing as the public interest?oElectronsoPlanning for business and government01/23How Are Opinions Formed?Key beliefs usually have their roots in early life experiences and socializationPersistence – the resilience of an opinion over timeoIdeology – a coherent collection of ideas about a given set of issues – we understand politics and events through the prism of our beliefsoPolitical party identification – which political party shares your valuesoWhat is fair, and what is unfairPrimacy – those things that influence you first tend exercise a powerful influence. First impressions do matter!2
Major influencesoFamily, Church – how often and how credibly do these institutions communicate about politics PeeroSchools – seek to promote values such as respect for authority, pride in governmentoPower of Authority– Milgram Experiments Location, support from others, absent authority figure reduces cooperationPeersoVoter turnout study on shaming – Michigan keeps track of who voted and data can have purchased for a free.