chapter6publicopinionsociali

chapter6publicopinionsociali - Chapter6 PublicOpinion,...

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Chapter 6 Public Opinion, Political Socialization and Media
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Public Opinion Aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs  shared by some portion of adult population No  one  public opinion; many different “publics” Key role in policymaking Source of power Helps candidates identify issues Sets limits on government action through public  pressure
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Measuring Public Opinion   Opinion poll  = method of systematically  questioning small, selected sample of  respondents deemed representative of total  population  Simple random sample  = each member of  population has  equal chance  of being  selected for sample Most scientific; sample represents population’s  diversity in demography and opinion
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Problems with Polls “Snapshot in time” Classic errors : presidential election polls (1948,  Dewey beating Truman; 1980, Carter beating  Reagan) Sampling errors  (e.g., biased samples, samples too  small, etc.) Question wording/influence of interviewer Unscientific polls  (Internet, phone-in, push polls) High non-response rates
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Process by which individuals acquire political  beliefs, attitudes, and opinions  Agents/forces Family Education Peers Religion
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chapter6publicopinionsociali - Chapter6 PublicOpinion,...

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