10.09 PS - 10.09.07 PS I II Review a Public Opinion i Why...

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10.09.07 PS I. Review a. Public Opinion i. Why is it unideological, and unstable, and uninformed? ii. Wallsten’s Laws 1. They don’t care, politics is the sideshow in life 2. It is not rational to be informed—it takes time, energy, and monetary contributions=> ignorance is rational iii. What can we do? 1. Issue public people on any given issue may not care but there are some issues that almost everyone cares about, we should not expect everyone to care about the issue 2. Short cuts are a way to cut down information costs, ways to make decisions w/o paying the costs and being informed. 3. Inconsistency between what the gov does ande what the public wants: if there is an intense minority they will win over an apathetic majority iv. Reception-Acceptance Model 1. Gives us a way to make predictions and understand the impact of any given political communication II. Mass Media a. Last time: there are different kinds of mass media broadcast (tv, radio), print, internet i. Different kinds of media, diff uses in diff people (distinction 1) b. Distinction 2: whether or not it is free access i. Do you pay to have your message put on the particular media? 1. Yes—advertisement c. Role of Media in a democracy? ( 2 most important roles theoretical ) i. Plays an educational/ informational role 1. Ideal of democracy is built on part on popular sovereignty, what is the problem in a modern society that is complex as people have other things to worry about than making informed decision 2. Media’s job: tell the public the important issues, main features, what effects this policy will have on you and your important groups, stance of parties ii. Watchdog 1. Media is supposed to watch over those in power and expose instances of corruption and hold politicians accountable 2. Does it do it well? –debatable d. What is the impact of media’s communication on people’s political attitudes? (3 Schools of Thought) i. Gullible Model / Gullible Public Model
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1. Idea that emerged in 1950’s in response to fascism in Europe: how could people let facism rise? One theory was that these fascist dictators were able to use propaganda, media—radio, and able to convince people of the justness of their cause b/c people were gullible. 2. Reception-acceptance model: Radio—everyone has one (exposure was high) a. People are stupid, people don’t know anything, and have no prior attitudes and will accept whatever they hear b/c there is nothing in them to reject what they hear b. Sources: sources are charismatic orators, highly credible and likeable, and therefore probability that messages are accepted are high c. R/A model says persuation would be the high result 3. Was also sparked by high profile instances such as: War of the Worlds a. Radio dramatization of aliens invading New Jersey b. People listening to the radio show did not realize it was fiction, and ran out with their weapons… =_=x c. If people believe this, then they will believe anything 4. Research was done to test the gullible public model and a
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