Political_Science_164A_-_Fall_1996_-_Stoker_-_Final -...

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Unformatted text preview: 03/10/2000 THU 11:27 FAX 6434990 MDFFITT LIBRARY 001 Final Examination Fall, 1996 PS 164a Political Psychology 1. Long Essay — Answer one of the following two questions (30 points, about 50 minutes) 1. Political socialization scholars have explained society-wide changes in opinion and behavior by drawing Upon arguments concerning how individuals develop and change their political opinions and behaviors over their life—span. Sh0w how such arguments could be developed to explain the over-time trends described below. For lad; of the examples, provide two alternative explanations. Example 1: Throughout most of the 20th century women voted at lower rates than did men. The gender gap in turnoat, however, narrowed gradually from the 1920’s onward, eventually disappearing in 1980. Example 2: Studies have shown that Americans became substantially more cynical about politicians frOm the mid-1960’s to the mid—1970's, though this change was especially pronounced among young people. 2. In his experiments, Milgram finds that shock voltage levels were lowered when: Subject andexperhnenter proximity decreased. Subject and victim proximity increased. Authority was divided. Confederates disobeyed. Subjects were free to select their own voltage levels. arenas Write an essay that explains these results by using political psychological concepts and theories that we have discussed in this class, and that provides examples of. the political implications of these findings. Organize yOur essay however you see fit; you will probably not want to simply address them in p a to Hell Order. ' II. Short Essay — Answer one of the following two questions (16 points, about 30 minutes) 1. One focus of scholarship on the mass media has been on its ability to change attitudes or beliefs, and more specifically, on the conditions under which this ability is either weak or strong. Discuss the conditions under which the mass media‘s power to persuade will be maximized, providing examples. 2. In Children and Politics, Greenstein represents the traditional view of party identification when he writes: "Children acquire party attachments before they can make more than the most fragmentary distinctions abOut the nature of political parties, about what the parties stand for, even about who the parties’ public representatives are. Party preferences are fixed early; they precede the advent of issue orientations, or "mature" evaluations of candidates." Drawing upon lectures and arguments articulated by Samuel Popkin in The Reasoning Voter, provide an alternative to the traditional view oflparty identification as an early learned, affective attachment that overwhelmingly shapes political learning and candidate evaluation. 08/10/2000 THU 11:28 FAX 6434330 MDFFITT LIBRARY 002 III. Short Answer — Answer two of the following four questions (8 points each, 16 points total; about 15 minutes each, 30 minutes total) 1. Attribution theorists have demonstrated that "actors" and "observers" tend to offer different explanations for the actor‘s behavior (i.e., regarding whether or not an act is given a dispositional explanation). Describe this phenomenon and briefly discuss two different ways that attribution theorists have tried to account for it. 2. Pollsters noted that George Bush’s approval ratings rose dramatically after the US. military forces began bombing Iraqi military sites in the Gulf War. How might a political psychologist account for this increase? 3. Political scientists commonly ask citizens to rate their member of Congress on a 0 (very unfavorable) to 100 (very favorable) scale. They find that many people offer a rating of 50. From a cognitive perspective, explain the differences between the following three causes of this rating: indifference, ambivalence, and ignorance. Use diagrams to illustrate your explanations. 4. Political psychologists have theorized about the relationship between degree of political involvement and the likelihood of attitude change in response to persuasive messages. Describe these theoretical expectations, being careful to note the conditions (pertaining both to the message and to the recipient) under which they apply. Include a graphical illustration in your answer. IV. Interpretation — Answer three of the following five questions (6 points each, 18 points total; about 10 minutes each, 30 minutes total) Each of the statements below is drawn from a course reading and illustrates a psychological concept or process that we have discussed. Identify which concept or process each statement might be taken to represent. Be explicit, and explain your answer; a few sentences will do here. 1. (Janis) "Just like the group in the smoking clinic, all these different types of groups had shown signs of high cohesiveness and an accompanying concurrence-seeking tendency that interfered with critical thinking." 2. (Bandura) "If issuing orders to police officers brings punishment while ordering store clerks brings better service, then people will behave authoritatively with clerks but cautiously with police." 3. (Sears) "An individual keeps a running tally of evaluations of the attitude object. Each new piece of information is simply absorbed as an incremental updating of that running tally, but the information itself is not necessarily stored. When the attitude is primed, the stored summary evaluation is retrieved, not the raw information on which it was based. As a result, evaluation is independent of remembered details . " 4. (Iyengar and Kinder) "By calling attention to some matters while ignoring others, television news influences the standards by which governments, presidents, policies, and candidates for public office are judged. " 5. (Brown) "[O]ur group evaluations are essentially relative in nature; we assess our own group’s worth or prestige by comparing it to others groups. The outcome of these intergroup comparisons is critical for us because indirectly it contributes to Our own self-esteem. If our own group can be perceived as clearly superior on some dimension of value then we, too, can bask in that reflected glory." 08/10/2000 THU 11:28 FAX 6434330 MDFFITT LIBRARY 003 V. Identification -- Dgfine and idfllifx the signifignce of five or the following 10 terms/phrases (4 points each, 20 points total; about '7 minutes each, 28 minutes total) 1 status deference 2. issue attention cycle 3. positivity principle 4. subtyping model of stereotype change 5. availability heuristic 6. reaction-formation 7 8 9 . generational replacement . partial reinforcement . low-information rationality 10. pmxirnity voting ...
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