Class 12_Media_101409

Class 12_Media_101409 - Political Science 1101 American...

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Political Science 1101 American Government: Practices and Values Class 12: Public Opinion (Cont.) & The Mass Media
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From Last Class Immigration trends over time. The effect of immigration on race and ethnicity in the United States. Definition of public opinion. How public opinion is formed: Importance of political values Importance of political socialization Political ideology Yet to discuss : how to measure public opinion and the challenges of measuring public opinion. Yet to discuss : public opinion and democracy.
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The Effect Politicians Can Have on Public Opinion (Public opinion before and after President Bush’s State of the Union Address, 2003)
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Uses of Public Opinion Keeping a pulse on democracy: Power to predict elections Power to check politicians’ performance in office Power to explore citizens’ support for future legislation Accuracy of the Gallup Poll in Presidential Elections, 1936-2000
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Measuring Public Opinion: Polls The need for a representative sample : a small group selected by researchers to represent the most important characteristics of the entire population. Sampling errors or sampling biases : polling errors that occur when the small group of survey respondents is not representative of the larger population from which it is drawn. Î It matters whom you ask: are you getting who you want? Sources of sampling error : Too small a number of respondents (average sample size: 450-1,500) No telephone or multiple telephone lines (when using random digit dialing) Not living in homes or variable size of households Correlates of survey response: poverty, race/ethnicity, age, rural population, transient/homeless population
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Example of Sampling Error: It Depends on Who You Ask… Hypothetical situation: If I conducted a poll in my POL 1101 class and then claimed that your views on a host of political issues are representative of the larger U.S. population, what are the sources of my sampling error? Too small a sample size (only 100 students) Average young age College education (at a public school) New York City Political science class, etc.
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Measuring Public Opinion: Polls Measurement errors : polling errors that occur as a result from the manner in which polls are conducted. Î It matters how you ask: are you getting what you want? Sources of measurement error : Question effects: wording, order, complexity Measurement effects: reliability, validity, scaling Respondent effects: poor recall, “non-attitudes” Interviewer effects: sociability effects, race/ethnicity of the interviewer, gender of the interviewer, language of the interviewer
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Example of Measurement Error: It Depends on How You Ask… Source: We the People , p. 236
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2011 for the course POL 1001 taught by Professor Xxx during the Fall '09 term at CUNY Baruch.

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Class 12_Media_101409 - Political Science 1101 American...

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