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POS Study Guide 2 - Public opinion(Chapter 5 Fiorina Focus...

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Public opinion (Chapter 5, Fiorina): Focus groups: Small groups of people brought together to talk about issues or candidates at length and in depth Ideology: A system of beliefs in which one or more organizing principles connect the individuals views on a wide range of particular issues Information cost: The time and mental effort required to absorb and store information, whether from conversations, personal experiences, or the media Issue Public: A group of people particularly affected by, or concerned with, a specific issue Mass Public: Ordinary people for whom politics is a peripheral concern Measurement Error: The error that arises from attempting to measure something as subjective as opinion Political Efficacy: The belief that the citizen can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion or acting politically Political Elites: Activists and officeholders who have well-structured ideologies that bind together their positions on different policy issues Public Opinion: The aggregation of peoples views about issues, situations, and public figures Sampling Error: The chance variation that arises in public opinion surveys as a result in public opinion surveys by using a representative, but small, sample to estimate the characteristics of a larger population Selection Bias: The distortion caused when a sampling method systematically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes from the sample Socialization: The end result of all processes by which social groups give individuals their beliefs and values Different distributions of public opinion: bimodal, skewed, normal (discussed in class) Questions to think about: How do pollsters try to reduce selection bias? How informed is public opinion? How ideological is it? How consistent is it? Participation (Chapter 6, Fiorina)
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Compositional effect: A shift in the behavior of a group the results from a change in the groups composition, rather than a change in the behavior of individuals already in the group Franchise: The right to vote Overvotes: Ballots that have more than one choice for an office (e.g. for president in 2000), whether because the voter cast a ballot for more than one candidate or wrote in a name as well as making a mark Registered voters: Those legally eligible to vote who have registered in accordance with the requirement s prevailing in their state and locality Social connectedness: The degree to which individuals are integrated into society ----extended family’s neighbors, religious organizations, and other social units Social issues: Issues (such as flag burning, gun control, abortion, obscenity, prayer in school, capital punishment, gay rights and evolution) that reflect personal values more than economic interests Suffrage: Another term for the right to vote Undervotes: Ballots that indicate no choice for an office (e.g. for president in 2000), whether because the voter abstained or because the voters intention could not be determined Voter mobilization: The efforts of parties, groups, and activists to encourage their
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