Public Opinion and Political Socialization
Public OpinionPublic OpinionThe collective political beliefs and attitudes of the public, or groups within the public, on matters of relevance to the government.
Public OpinionSalienceAn issues importance to a person or to the public in general. StabilityThe speed with which a change will occur, and the likelihood that the new opinion will endure.
Public OpinionDirectionIn public opinion, the tendency for or against some phenomenon. IntensityThe strength of the direction of public opinion.
Public OpinionConsensus- General agreement among the citizenry on an issueDivided Opinion- Public opinion that is polarized between two quite different positions
Public OpinionSampleA subset of the whole population selected to be questioned for the purpose of prediction or gauging opinionsPopulationAn entire body of people, from which a sample is selected and assumed to be representative.
Public OpinionRandom SamplingA method of poll selection that gives each person in a group the same chance of being selectedMargin of Error.A measure of the accuracy of a public opinion poll.
Public OpinionSampling TechniquesRepresentative SamplingThe Principle of RandomnessEvery person should have a chance of being sampledA purely random sample will be representative within the stated margin of error. The larger the sample of the population, the smaller the margin of error.
Problems with Opinion PollsIssues respondents havent consideredPeople respond anyways to not look unintelligentControversial issuesGive a socially correct response rather than the truthOpinions on things like race and genderPeople will hide their racial and gender bias until entering the voting boothQuestion wordingHow a question is worded can greatly influence the response.
Political SocializationPolitical SocializationThe learning process in which individuals absorb information and selectively add it to their knowledge and understanding of politics and government.
Political SocializationSources The Family and the Social EnvironmentEducation as a Source of Political SocializationPeers and Peer Group Influence Opinion Leaders InfluenceMedia Presentation of Political Issues
Political SocializationPolitical events can produce a long-lasting impact on opinion formation. Examples: Great Depression, McCarthyism, Vietnam, Watergate, Iran Contra, Lewinski-gate, Iraq War II
Political SocializationGenerational EffectSituation in which younger citizens are influenced by events in such a fashion that their attitudes and beliefs are forever rendered distinct from those of older generations. (Vietnam Era)
Political SocializationPeriod EffectAn event that influences the attitudes and beliefs of people of all ages who experience it. (Great Depression, September 11th)
Political IdeologyIdeologyConsistent set of ideas about a given set of issues.
Political IdeologyEconomic Liberals- Those who believe government should do more to assist people who have difficulty meeting their economic needs on their own.Economic Conservatives- Those who believe government tries to do too many things that should be left to firms and economic markets.
Political IdeologySocial Conservatives- Those who believe government power should be used to uphold traditional values.Social Liberals- Those who believe it is not governments role to buttress traditional values at the expense of unconventional or new values.
Political IdeologyLibertariansThose who believe government tries to do too many things that should be left to firms and markets, and who oppose government as an instrument for upholding traditional values. Combination of economic conservative and social liberal.
Political IdeologyPopulistsThose who believe government should do more to assist people who have difficulty meeting their economic needs and who look to government to uphold traditional values. Combination of economic liberal and social conservative.