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reading& solution - The Struggle for Democracy Chapter...

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The Struggle for Democracy Chapter 5: Public Opinion
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Democracy and Public Opinion Public Opinion : the political attitudes and beliefs expressed by ordinary citizens Crucial to democracy
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Democracy and Public Opinion Public opinion in the U.S. is relatively stable, yet There are questions about quality Intensity: depth of feeling about an issue Latency: hidden or unspoken feeling Salience: extent to which an issue has an impact on us
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Democracy and Public Opinion We know the following: Government officials can lead or manipulate public opinion Events and circumstances can affect it The press can influence it The public can have a strong impact on policymaking, both foreign and domestic
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Democracy and Public Opinion We also know that Americans Are ignorant about the government Lack interest in politics Rely on group or party loyalties rather than on issues Philip Converse coined the phrase nonattitudes, which is the practice of giving answers merely to satisfy the interviewers
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Democracy and Public Opinion Finally, we know that The Framers were worried about public opinion; Madison called it popular passions Madison and de Tocqueville talked about the tyranny of the majority Lippmann said that most of us know little about what goes on in the world, and we form our opinions based on stereotypes
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Measuring What People Think Early methods often involved guesswork or “preaching to the choir” Development of modern survey work George Gallup and Elmo Roper used modern statistical techniques to measure it. How? Survey: set of standardized questions asked to people who were chosen randomly
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Measuring What People Think Representative sample : includes all the significant characteristics of the population To ensure representativeness Survey at least 2,000 people (but 3,000 is better) Make sure the sample is random By making the sample random, every member of the population has an equal chance of appearing in it
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Measuring What People Think To ensure representativeness Guard against sampling bias No particular set of people have a greater or lesser chance of being surveyed
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2011 for the course PLSI 200 taught by Professor Schendan during the Spring '08 term at S.F. State.

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reading& solution - The Struggle for Democracy Chapter...

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