Chapter 6 - Ch 6 1 Define public opinion and political socialization Public Opinion Politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that

Chapter 6 - Ch 6 1 Define public opinion and political...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 6 pages.

Ch. 6 1. Define public opinion and political socialization Public Opinion Politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they openly express Consists of views held by ordinary citizens that are openly expressed Characterized by its direction, intensity, salience (importance) Political Socialization Process by which individuals acquire their political opinions Begins during childhood and continues into adulthood 2. Measurement of Public Opinion Election returns are traditional way to assess public opinion Indicate how many votes each party received, not why voters acted as they did Public Opinion Polls Polls/surveys are primary method for estimating public sentiment In public opinion polls, few individuals (sample) are interviewed to estimate opinions of whole population Random Selection = Key to scientific polling Prevents biased surveys Probability sampling Sample in which each individual in population has known probability of being chosen @ random for inclusion Size of sample is key to political accuracy, not population size Sampling Error Term that accuracy of a poll is expressed in Defined as error that results from using a sample to estimate population Measure of how accurate an estimate of what population is thinking is likely to be The larger the sample, the smaller the sampling error Usually expressed as plus/minus % Ex. Sample of 1000 individuals has sample error of plus/minus 3% If 55% of the sample say they’re voting for republicans, there is a high chance only 52%-58% of voters actually plan to vote Opinion Dimensions Direction Refers to whether ppl have pro/con position on issue Ex. Poll asked respondents whether undocumented immigrants living in U.S. should/shouldn’t be given right to live/work here legally When opinion is divided in its direction, issue is likely to cause partisan issue Intensity Refers to how strongly ppl feel about an issue Ex. Poll asked respondents how important their position on abortion issue was to their vote (very, somewhat, not at all) Intense opinions tend to get politician’s attention Salience Refers to how important ppl think an issue is relative to other issues Ex. Individual might have intense opinion on genetically modified food but may think it is less salient compared to issues like terrorism What is country’s most important issue? Problems w/ Polls
Ch. 6 Phones Lots of ppl are selected for surveys through their phone # Some Americans don’t have phones and refuse to participate or aren’t home Asked about Unfamiliar Issues Accuracy of poll is diminished Some ppl will still answer the question bc they don’t want to seem dumb Some ppl hide opinions over controversial issues Poor Wording Poor word choice can confuse respondents and distort poll results Ex. “Does it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of Jews never happened?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture