Political Science chapter 6
Terms in this set (47)
The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly.
The learning process by which people acquire their political opinions, beliefs, and values.
agents of socialization
Those agents, such as the family and the media, that have a significant impact on citizens' political socialization.
The personal sense of loyalty that an individual may feel toward a particular political party.
A general belief about the role and purpose of government.
Those who believe government tries to do too many things that should be left to private interests and economic markets.
cultural (social) liberals
Those who believe it is not government's role to buttress traditional values at the expense of unconventional or new values.
cultural (social) conservatives
Those who believe government power should be used to uphold traditional values.
Those who believed overnight should do more to assist people who have difficulty meeting their economic needs and who look to government to uphold traditional values.
Those 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.
public opinion poll
A device for measuring public opinion whereby a relatively small number of individuals (the sample) are interviewed for the purpose of estimating the opinions of a whole community (the population).
In a public opinion poll, the relatively small number of individuals who are interviewed for the purpose of estimating the opinions of an entire population.
In a public opinion poll, the people (for example, the citizens of a nation) whose opinions are being estimated through interviews with a sample of these people.
A measure of accuracy of a public opinion poll; mainly a function of sample size and usually expressed in percentage terms.
The process by which individuals acquire political opinions is called...?
Studies on the influence of ideology on public opinion agree that...?
Only a minority of Americans have a true ideology in the sense of having consistent attitudes on public issues.
Public officials increasingly rely on which method to assess public opinion?
Public opinion polls.
Compared to Europeans, Americans are substantially more likely to form political opinions based on their...?
Which factor is strongly and consistently related to differences in the opinions that Americans hold?
In regard to the influence of public opinion on policy, it is accurate to say that...?
In making their policy choices, politicians are particularly likely to follow public opinion when people's opinions are intense and unmistakable.
(T/F) Other things being equal, the larger size of the sample in a poll, the more accurate the poll.
(T/F) Of the various agents of political socialization, political leaders are by far the most important one.
(T/F) People's party identification is measured by asking them to identify the party that they voted for in the most recent presidential election.
(T/F) Most Americans pay close attention to and are highly informed about politics and public affairs.
Spiral of silence
Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann shows that individuals tend to withhold opinions that are at odds with those of the people around them.
Scholars use this term to describe the influence of watershed events on the political outlook of younger citizens.
Interact closely and regularly with the individual, usually early in life, as in the case of the family.
Have a less intimate connection with the individual and are usually more important later in life, as in the case of work associates.
Public opinion consists of those views held by ordinary citizens that are openly expressed. Public officials have various means of gauging public opinion but increasingly use public opinion polls for this purpose.
The process by which individuals acquire their political opinions is called political socialization. This process begins during childhood, when, through family and school, people acquire many of their basic political values and beliefs. Socialization continues into adulthood, during which time the news media, peers, and political leaders are among the major influences.
Americans' political opinions are shaped by several frames of reference, including partisanship, ideology, and group attachments.
Public opinion has an important influence on government but ordinarily does not determine exactly what officials will do.
Frames of reference (schemas)
Through the socialization process, citizens acquire this and it serves as a point of reference points by which they evaluate issues and development. Important for two reasons: first, they provide an indication of how people think politically. Second, they are a basis for common cause.
The ability of the media to influence what is on people's mind.
The process whereby people selectively choose from incoming information those aspects that support what they already believe.
Many Americans see politics through the lens of a group affinity. Religion, economic class, region, race and ethnicity, gender, and age.
Chapter 6 summary-paragraph one
The process by which individuals acquire their political opinions is called political socialization. During childhood, the family, schools, and church are important sources of basic political attitudes, such as beliefs about the parties and the nature of the U.S. political and economic systems. Many of the basic orientations that Americans acquire during childhood remain with them in adulthood, but socialization is a continuing process. Adults' opinions are affected mostly by peers, the news media, and political leaders. Events themselves also have a significant short-term influence on opinions.
Chapter 6 summary-paragraph two
The frames of reference that guide Americans' opinions include political ideology, although most citizens do not have a strong and consistent ideological attachment. In addition, individuals develop opinions as a result of group orientations-notably, religion, economic class, region, race, gender, ethnicity, and age. Partisanship is a major source of political opinions; Republicans and Democrats differ in their voting behavior and views on many policy issues.
Chapter 6 summary-paragraph three
Public opinion can be defined as those opinions held by ordinary citizens and they openly express. Public officials have many ways of assessing public opinion, such as the outcomes of elections, but they have increasingly come to rely on public opinion polls. There are many possible sources of error in polls, and surveys sometimes present a misleading portrayal of the public's views. However, a properly conducted poll can be an accurate indication of what the public is thinking.
Chapter 6 summary-paragraph four
Public opinion has a significant influence on government but seldom determines exactly what government will do in a particular instance. Public opinion serves to constrain the policy choices of officials but also is subject to their efforts to mold and channel what the public is thinking. Evidence indicates that officials are particularly attentive to public opinion on highly visible and controversial issues of public policy.
Solidarity among group members and conflict with outsiders.
Income and education levels do affect Americans' opinions on some issues. Welfare assistance programs and business regulation, for example, have more support among lower-income Americans, whereas higher-income Americans are more supportive of tax cuts.
Regional differences continue to exist on some issues, including social welfare and civil rights. Also, red and blue states.
Race and ethnicity
Race and ethnicity affect opinions on civil rights and civil liberties issues. Blacks and Hispanics, for example, are generally more supportive of affirmative action and less trusting of police and the judicial system than are non-Hispanic whites.
Differences are large on some social welfare issues, such as poverty and education assistance. Women tend to have more liberal opinions on these issues, reflecting in part their greater economic vulnerability and their greater role in child care.
Generations and age
Americans of different ages also respond differently to age-related policies.
Each group includes individuals who also belong to other groups, where they can encounter different people and opinions