Public Opinion 2 - 1. Public Opinion 1. 1. Low levels of...

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Unformatted text preview: 1. Public Opinion 1. 1. Low levels of political Low information and unstable attitudes: is this a problem? attitudes: 2. Ways of coping, esp. Ways heuristics heuristics 3. New stuff: 1. 2. Implicit measures Your attitudes! What is Public Opinion? What Aggregation of people’s views about Aggregation issues, situations and public figures. issues, Mass public: ordinary people for whom politics ordinary is often a peripheral concern is Political elites: activists and office holders who activists have well structured ideologies that connect the individual’s views on a wide range of particular issues. issues. Error Review Error Selection Bias: Occurs when the sample is Selection unrepresentative unrepresentative Sampling Error: chance variation due to using Sampling a small but representative sample to estimate characteristics of a larger population. (related to margin of error) to Measurement Error: error that arises from Measurement attempting to measure something as subjective as public opinion subjective Ex. Social desirability, response options, order Ex. It Matters It What percentage of Americans support What Affirmative Action, Abortion, Death Penalty? Answer is not necessarily stable. Answer This does NOT mean that you can “show This anything” with polls or statistics!!! anything” Information: Just how uninformed are we? times more people can identify Judge we? Ten Ten Wapner or Judge Ito than the Chief Justice of the United States (1996) the 25% can identify both senators from their 25% state (1989) state 55% knew which party held a majority in the 55% House (2000) House 95% knew the length of a president’s term 95% (1989) (1989) 25% knew the length of a senator’s term 25% (1991) (1991) 89% identified Al Gore as vice president 89% (1998) (1998) Are Americans equipped to choose our leaders? leaders? Evidence against: Unstable attitudes: due to measurement error, Unstable or non-attitudes? or Low levels of political knowledge Other ideas Other Individual attitudes may be unstable, but Individual public opinion is stable in the aggregate. public Individuals have ways to cope with low levels Individuals of information of Ways that people make decisions decisions We use core values Maybe we’re sorted into issue publics We use heuristics: Decision Short Cuts We heuristics Examples of Heuristics Examples Partisanship Friends, Family Likeability, Similarity Likeability, Campaign competence Heuristics Heuristics Can you offer examples of good heuristics? Can What about bad heuristics? What How can we distinguish between the two? The tall guy wins? The 2008 Barack Obama 6 ft 1½ in Barack 2004 2004 George W. Bush 5 ft 11 in George 2000 George W. Bush 5 ft 11 in 1996 Bill Clinton 6 ft 1½ in 1992 Bill Clinton 6 ft 1½ in 1988 1988 George H.W. Bush 6 ft 2 in 1984 Ronald Reagan 6 ft 1in 1980 Ronald Reagan 6 ft 1in 1976 Jimmy Carter 5 ft 9 in 1972 Richard Nixon 5 ft 11½ in John McCain 5 ft 7 in ft John Kerry 6 ft 4 in Al Gore 6 ft ½ in Bob Dole 6 ft 0 in George H.W. Bush 6 ft 2in Michael Dukakis 5 ft 8 in Walter Mondale 5 ft 10¾ in Jimmy Carter 5 ft 9 in Gerald Ford 6 ft 1 in George McGovern 6 ft 1 in The Tall Guy Wins? The 1968 Richard Nixon 5 ft 11½ in 1964 Lyndon Johnson 6 ft 3½ in 1960 John F. Kennedy6 ft ½ in 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower 5 ft 10½ 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower 5 ft 10½ 1948 1948 Harry S. Truman 5 ft 9 in 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt 6 ft 2 in 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt 6 ft 2 in 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt 6 ft 2 in 1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt 6 ft 2 in Hubert Humphrey 5 ft 11 in Barry Goldwater 6 ft 0 in Richard Nixon 5 ft 11½ in Adlai Stevenson 5 ft 10 in Adlai Stevenson 5 ft 10 in Thomas Dewey 5 ft 8 in Thomas Dewey 5 ft 8 in Wendell Willkie 6 ft 1 in Alfred Landon 5 ft 8 in Herbert Hoover 5 ft 11 in Bush vs. Kerry Bush In the upcoming Presidential election, would you vote for a candidate who is: would Catholic Atheist Black A woman 72 years old Married for the third Married time time Homosexual Jewish Mormon Gallup Poll, 2007 Gallup Coping with social desirability desirability Question wording Asking factual questions first Implicit Measures: measures that do not rely Implicit on self report. on Ex. Implicit Association Test ...
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