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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

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