PS4120 Exam 3 Study Questions

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What is the recent trend in campaign fund-raising and campaign spending. What factors are driving that trend?
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Terms in this set (31)
Truth tests are the news media's analyses of the accuracy of campaign commercials. They provide a positive service when they correct inaccuracies. But they can also have negative effects. On the one hand, they give free airplay to the ads they are examining, thus reinforcing negative or inaccurate messages. On the other hand, they may analyze ads out of context or in too narrow a context, thus providing an unfair critique. They may also focus only on what is said, paying little attention to the visuals, which can be the most important part of the ad.
Examples include appearances of shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, and The Tonight Show. They like to appear on these shows because it allows them to avoid journalists. This gives them more control over the messages of their campaigns. Talk show hosts tend to be friendlier and ask fewer difficult questions.
They are: principles of stereotyping, association, demonization, and code words. Stereotyping refers to playing on commonly held ideas of what Democrats and Republicans stand for. Demonization refers to trying to associate an opponent with something (or someone) negative. Association means trying to associate, in a positive way, with something or someone. Code words refers to short, easily remembered phrases that carry larger messages about the candidate or her opponent.
(a) Visuals—film or graphic imagery—are the primary means of capturing attention and conveying messages. (b) Visual texts are print messages that appear on screen to reinforce the message. (c) The voice-over is the script read by an announcer that ties the visual elements together. (d) Next are the other sounds in the commercial—music and sound effects—which help create the mood. (e) Editing determines how the images are connected to one another. A jumpy, frenetic pace is usually chosen for a negative ad, while a smoother, more gentle pace is chosen for a positive ad. (f) Color also affects the tone. Rich colors send a positive message, while black and white has negative connotations.
What does it mean to say that the communications marketplace is fragmented?There are many more choices available to media consumers now than there used to be: besides the print media, there are network television, cable television, satellite television, radio, and the Internet. This complicates the task of campaigners as they design their strategies to reach out to as many voters as possible.What variables determine the effectiveness of a campaign commercial?There are three categories of variables that determine ads' effectiveness. (a) The conditions of the race: Are the candidates both unknown? Is one a well-known incumbent? Ads are usually more effective for lesser-known candidates because they help to form people's impressions (good or bad) of the candidate. (b) The candidates' advertising strategies: Candidates have many strategic decisions to make about their ad campaigns. They need to decide how many ads to run, what type of ads to run, when to run them, and how often to run them. The goal is to get specific messages to specific constituencies in today's fragmented communications marketplace. This means that the candidate has to pick the right media outlet and the right times of day to reach the desired constituents. (c) The third category is the content and tone of the ad. The research is a bit confusing on this. Research by Iyengar and others indicates that negative ads turn people off and cause them not to vote. However, more recent research, such as the journal article by Goldstein and Freedman, indicates that negative ads have a stimulating effect on turnout.In 1976, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had specific goals to accomplish with their ads. What were they?Ford had to present himself as presidential and explain his decisions. Carter had to tell Americans who he was because he was the first candidate to become his party's nominee in the new primary system.What is the "daisy ad"? When did it run? Why is it so famous?The ad is from President Johnson's 1964 campaign and played on perceptions of his opponent, Barry Goldwater, as a dangerous extremist. In the ad, a girl plucks the petals off a daisy as an announcer counts down to the final image, which is of a nuclear explosion. The ad is famous for being the first truly negative campaign television ad and because it made an effective attack on Goldwater without ever actually mentioning his name.Based on the studies discussed in the commentary, does negative advertising seem most likely to stimulate or decrease voter participation in elections?While there are some studies, such as Iyengar and Ansolabehere, suggest that negative ads depress voter turnout, most of the recent studies show that negative advertising has a positive impact on voter turnout.Define "public opinion" and list its three component parts.Public opinion is a collection of individual opinions, which are composed of attitudes (our likes and dislikes), beliefs (our ideas about how the world really is), and values (our feelings about how things ought to be).What dilemmas an important dilemma about the appropriate role of public opinion in a representative democracy?The first is the question of leadership versus representation. Elected officials can see themselves as trustees or delegates. Trustees are officials who see it as their duty to do things they think are right, as opposed to things they think the voters want. They believe they were elected because people had faith in their judgment, and they behave accordingly. Delegates are officials who seek constant guidance from their constituents, relying heavily on public opinion.What is the difference between measuring and collecting opinion?Some polls try to objectively measure opinion, meaning the people conducting the poll genuinely are interested in what people are thinking and design their polls using scientific techniques in order to get results that are as accurate as possible. Some people, though, want to collect opinions so they can use their poll results as part of a larger public relations campaign.What are some potential problems with surveys?There are problems of intent (what was the purpose for taking the survey in the first place?); problems with questions (the wording and order of questions can affect responses); sampling problems (did the survey researcher properly sample the population he or she was hoping to measure? Is the sample representative of the population?); interviewer problems (the way an interviewer asks questions can affect results, as can the ethnicity and gender of the interviewer); and respondent problems (people can base their answers on nonattitudes, lie to avoid looking bad, and interpret the questions differently than others).What is a population? What is a sample? Why should a sample be both random and representative?A population is the group you are interested in studying, such as all registered voters or everyone who owns a car. A sample is a group of people drawn from the population for study purposes. Random means that everyone in the population you are sampling has an equal chance of being sampled. Representative means that the sample looks like a miniversion of the population—that is, it has the same percentages of men and women, whites and blacks, etc.Why is it possible that the days of accurate phone polling are coming to an end?There are a few reasons, most of which relate to the fact that fewer people have landlines. Law prevents the use of random digit dialing for cell phones, which makes it more time consuming and expensive to get an accurate sample. Caller id and number portability make this problem even bigger.What innovation made political talk radio a popular medium? What effect does talk radio have on listeners?The innovation was the ability to let listeners call in. This makes listeners more interested because they feel like they are actively participating, even if they haven't actually called in themselves. Listening to talk radio makes people feel higher political efficacy and makes them more likely to participate in the political process.What is the "first battle of politics" that candidates must win? Why do politicians and causes try to attract the support of celebrities? What effect do celebrities have on a campaign or a cause?Name recognition is the first battle of politics. Celebrities attract media attention, giving the politicians and causes they favor a higher level of exposure, raising awareness, and raising funds.There are several possible explanations presented in this lesson for the question of why political talk radio is dominated by conservative talk. What are those explanations?One possibility, which doesn't seem likely as an explanation, is that there are simply more conservatives than liberals. Another explanation is that conservatives see a greater need for an alternate media, an alternate to the liberal mainstream media. A third explanation is that liberals' listening needs are served by NPR and ethnic radio for Latinos and African Americans.What is the difference between parody and satire?Parody is the imitation of something, perhaps by exaggerating a point or someone's characteristics, for comedic effect. Satire is comedy which holds an idea, a person, etc. up for ridicule, in order to make a political point through humor.How do Delli Carpini and Williams justify paying more attention to entertainment media as sources of political information?They argue that too much attention is paid to traditional news. Traditional news has been, in part, discredited. In addition, they argue that politically relevant communication is any information which makes a difference to people, which informs people, which has an influence on people.Why do the movie and television industries self-censor?They do this in order to prevent the government from getting in the business of censoring. This has happened time after time in the history of movies and television, starting with the efforts of the movie producers to put an end to censorship by local and state censorship boards in the 1920s.Why is the story portrayed in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington so influential and enduring?It represents the ideal of how the American political system is supposed to work. Jimmy Stewart's character goes to Washington, sees what is wrong and does what he can to fix it. This is a Hollywood myth because there is seemingly always corruption in Washington, but that makes the myth appealing because we are always hoping that if the right person comes along, such as Barack Obama in 2008, he or she can fix things.Why was The Birth of a Nation controversial?Because it portrayed the Southern story as one of whites being oppressed, it glorified the Ku Klux Klan as a righteous organization, and it featured on-screen oppression of African Americans. It engendered protests nationwide by groups representing African Americans, such as the NAACP. It even involved the White House after the movie was screened there for Woodrow Wilson.How did the films of Sidney Poitier contribute to the achievements of the civil rights movement?These movies all featured, in one way or another, acceptance of a black character, or the development of positive relations between black characters and white characters. In the movie In the Heat of the Night, the chief of police and Poitier's character didn't become friends, but at the end, the chief has respect for Poitier's ability as a professional.In general, what is the contribution of the television shows of Norman Lear?Lear's shows broke down many taboos and barriers. His shows were often the first to deal with divisive issues of race, sexuality, abortion, and others. Through the struggle of the characters to deal with these issues, in both serious and humorous ways, the American public saw the possibility of things being different.