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Lecture+5+_Public+Opinion_

Lecture+5+_Public+Opinion_ - 790 104 Introduction to...

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790: 104: Introduction to American Politics Lecture #5: Public Opinion
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Main Questions Ø What is Public Opinion? Ø What are the sources of Public Opinion? Ø How do we measure public opinion? Ø Should Politicians Govern by Public Opinion?
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What is Public Opinion? Ø Public Opinion : The aggregation of people’s views about issues, situations, and public figures. Ø V.O. Key: defines public opinion as “those opinions held by private persons which governments find it prudent to
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Sources of Public Opinion: Socialization and Personal Experiences Ø Socialization: The end result of all the processes by which social groups give individuals their beliefs and values; most socialization happens in childhood years. Ø Personal Experiences: In the 1970s, researchers began to suggest that childhood socialization can be modified by adult experiences .
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Sources of Public Opinion (2): Self-Interest and Education Ø Self-Interest: This is a view of public opinion that suggests that attitudes are shaped by their individual interests. Ø Education : Higher education predisposes individuals to toleration of others, volunteerism , and political efficacy .
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