Gov Unit 4.docx - Chapter 6 Public Opinion u274f Public...

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Chapter 6Public OpinionPublic opinion: attitude/values that the masses have about issues, events, and personalitiesImportance of public opinionDemocracy requires input by the peopleOur opinions greatly affects policy, the political actors, and political environmentHow our values/beliefs about politics formed?Political socializationThe process through which underlying political beliefs and values are formedFamilyMost important socializerSocial networksEducationTaught and based on a local levelRace and ethnicityDifferent experiencesGenderParty affiliationPolitical environmentMediaKnowledge and emotionsValues and attitudes affect our political ideologyPolitical ideology-cohesive set of values and beliefs that form a general philosophy about governmentCheat cardWhat does my ideology tell me how i should feel about this particular candidateConservatives- emphasize support for social and economic status-quo and limited government action except to protect morals and traditionsLiberals- emphasize social and political reform and government action to promote economic and social equality
Figure 6.2 Americans’ ideologyMeasuring public opinionPollstersrely on samplesof the population to surveyPollsters are interested inDirection and strength of the public opinionWhat shaped their opinionThe most reliable polls are randomly selectedand is a representative sampleof the population under focusAchieving a probability sample that is representativeRandomly choose people for the sampleRandom digit dialinggenerates a random sampleUse a large number of people to pollSample errorAll samples have a sampling error(margin of error)A polling error that arises because the sample is too smallTells us the confidencein the pollAcceptable sampling error is up to + or - 5%Measurement errorPoll questions can generatemeasurement errorMeasurement error caused by:Poor question format; faulty ordering of questionsPoor vocab; ambiguity of questionsQuestions with built in biasesThe MediaMedia: are print and digital forms of communication that convey information to large audiencesFormats includePrint:newspapers (most important), magazines (popular), and booksBroadcast:radio and televisionDigital:websites, social media, and other online sourcesPrevalence of the mediaFigure 6.1 Americans’ main sources for news
The media in the usMedia is an essential component of democracySupply information to the citizenry by reporting the newsNon-Government sources of informationGive the public the opportunity to evaluate issues to form reasoned opinions and actionsProvide a forum for the public and actors to interactIn the us the media relies on profit to operateTraditional newspapers

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