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Public Opinion

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Cameron Rawlinson

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Public Opinion

What is Public Opinion?
What are factors of public opinion?
Family and school are an important part of the process of political socialization
Mass media-huge influence
Peer Groups- people that one regularly associates with (friends, classmates, neighbors, co-workers, etc.)

The influence of peer groups starts as a child and continues throughout adulthood. This is effective because people usually trust the opinion of people that they're close to.
Opinion Leaders-
anybody who has a strong influence on the views of others (lawyers, pastors, etc.)

Opinion leaders usually have regular contact with large numbers of people.
Historic Events- have a major impact on the views of large numbers of people. An example of this is 9/11.
The way Americans view national security and foreign policy has changed drastically since then.
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Define Straw Vote.

What factors contribute to public opinion?

How is public opinion measured?

What must a good poll question not do?

What is the margin of error a pollster should have when selecting a portion of people to poll?
Public Opinion
Limits on The Impact of Polls
Check Point
Check Point
Chapter 8 Section 1&2
It often appears on media such as blogs, radio, and television
Often it is used to suggest that all the Americans have the same view on an issue
Public opinion only has to do with public affairs
Different publics
Public-a group of people who share the same view on an issue
Few issues capture people's attention
So what exactly is it?
Complex collection of opinions
a single view
Evaluation of Public Opinion Polls
Student will be able to identify major factors that affect public opinion. They should also be able to identify the 5 steps of the polling process.
Public opinion is measured through polls.
Check Point
Straw Votes are common such as radio show hosts and TV hosts.
This method is unreliable because it shows the number of people rather than the total population because people are self selected.
Polling Process
5 steps:
1. Identify the specific group that the poll plans to measure.
ex. All republicans in New England, All voters in Chicago.
Polling Process
3. Construct good questions that don't shape the answer and aren't difficult to understand.
4. Interview mostly through phone calls. All polls must be conducted in one way only.
A pollster's voice can influence answers through:
their tone
their emphasis on certain words.
5. Pollsters use technology to analyze data then draw conclusions and publish the final answers.
What do public affairs include?
What are several agents of political socialization?
On balance,
the major national polls are fairly reliable.
Pollsters have difficulty measuring intensity, stability, and relevance of opinions.
Elections- This is how the people voice their opinion
in a democracy and is taken as approval or rejection of the stands of a candidate.
Interest Groups- private organizations that work to shape the making and content of public policy.
They usually present their views through e-mails, telephone, etc.
known as "mirrors or "molders" of opinion
because it is so open to the public.
Are national polls reliable?
Polling organizations report on public opinions and join together with news-gathering and other professional polling organizations.
Some things they report on:
public support for the press or congress
candidates running for different position
bugs bunny
2. Select a good portion of people at random. Has a + or
3% margin of error.
Pollsters also use quota sample because it's less complicated than random sample however it isn't as reliable.
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