Citizen's views on politics and government actions.
level of conceptualization
The amount of complexity in an individuals''s belief about government and policy, and the extent that those beliefs are consistent with each other and remain consistent over time.
A way of describing political beliefs in terms of a position on the spectrum running from liberal to moderate to conservative.
An opinion formed on the spot, when it is needed (as distinct from a deeply held opinion that is stable over time).
The many pieces of information a person uses to form an opinion.
The process by which an individual's political opinions are by other people and the surrounding culture.
A way to measure public opinion by interviewing a large sample of the population.
The group of people that a researcher or pollster wants to study, such as evangelicals, senior citizens, or Americans.
Within a population, the group of people surveyed in order to gauge the whole population's opinion. Researchers use samples because it would be impossible to interview the entire population.
A survey response format in which respondents select their answers from a range of positions between to extremes.
A calculation that describes what percentage of the people surveyed may not accurately represent the population being studied. Increasing the number of respondents lowers the sampling error.
A subscription of a population chosen to participate in a survey through a selection process in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen. This kind of sampling improves the accuracy of public opinion data.
The effect on public opinion when many citizens move away from moderate positions and toward either end of the political spectrum, identifying themselves as either liberals or conservatives.
The level of public support for expanding the government's role in society; whether the public wants government action on a specific issue.