13 terms

Chapter 5: Public Opinion

Public Opinion
The aggregation of people's views about issues, situations, and public figures. p.124
"Law of anticipated reactions"
Even if public opinion is silent, or "latent", public officials may act or fail to actbecause they fear arousing it...Whereby public opinion influences government even though it does so indirectly and passively. p.125
The end result of all the processes by which social groups give the individuals their beliefs and values. p.125
Political Efficacy
The belief that the citizen can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion or acting politically. p. 127
Sampling Error
The chance variation that arises in public opinion surveys as a result of using a representative, but small, sample to estimate the characteristics of a larger population. p. 129
Selection Bias
The distortion caused when a sampling method systematically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes from the sample.p. 131
Focus Groups
Small groups of people brought together to talk about the issues or candidates at length and in depth. p.132
Measurement Error
The error that arises from attempting to measure something as subjective as opinion. p. 132
Information Cost
The time and mental effort required to absorb and store information, whether from conversations, personal experiences, or the media. p. 139
Issue Public
A group of people particularly affected by, or concerned with, a specific issue. p. 140
A system of beliefs in which one or more organizing principles connect the individual's views on a wide range of particular issues. p.141
Political Elites
Activists and officeholders who have well-structured ideologies that bind together their positions on different policy issues. p.141
Mass Public
Ordinary people for whom politics is a peripheral concern. p.141