ch._7_ap_notes - Click to edit Master subtitle style Public...

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Unformatted text preview: Click to edit Master subtitle style Public Opinion Chapter 7 Measuring Public Opinion Public Opinion and Democracy Public opinion is the ideas and attitudes of a significant number of Americans hold about the government and political issues. The resulting government is responsive to the people but is not subject to the shifting whims of public opinion Measuring Public Opinion The Framers of the Constitution recognized that large numbers of citizens could not run the day-to-day government; they created a government in which people have an active voice by voting for lawmakers Measuring Public Opinion Traditional Methods Political parties inform party leaders about voters attitudes Members of interest groups contact public officials about specific issues, such as gun control, health care, auto safety, and so forth The mass media measure program ratings to gauge public interest Measuring Public Opinion Politicians use newspapers, magazine cover stories, editorials, letters to the editor, talk shows, and television newscasts to keep track of public interests Relying solely on mass media sources can distort information Letter writing campaigns to public officials by mail, fax, and e-mail indicate levels of support and opposition for specific issues Straw polls organized by media provide responses to specific questions Measuring Public Opinion Scientific Polling (Snapshot of public opinion) In a scientific poll, the term universe refers to the group of people that are to be studies, such as all Texans or all women in the United States A representative sample is a small group of people typical of the universe who gives opinions Most pollsters use representative samples to measure public opinion Using a random sample gives everyone in the universe an equal chance of being selected Measuring Public Opinion A sampling error defines how much the results may differ from the sample universe A cluster sample is a group of people from the same geographical area Pollsters may weight their results for race, age, gender, or education The way a question is phrased can greatly influence peoples responses Measuring Public Opinion Polls conducted through telephone interviews and questionnaires sent by mail are cheaper and more...
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2010 for the course D.A. 123432 taught by Professor Scholts during the Spring '10 term at 카이스트, 한국과학기술원.

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ch._7_ap_notes - Click to edit Master subtitle style Public...

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