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34 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
public opinion
made up of individual attitudes or beliefs shared by a significant portion of adults about politics, public issues, and public policy
public opinion poll
a survey of the public's opinion on a particular topic
groups of people who are representative of hte population being studied
straw poll
mail survey
biased sample
a sample that did not accurately represent the population
random sample
a sample in which every person in the population being polled has an equal chance of being chosen
sampling error
the difference between what the sample results show and what the true result would be if everyone in the country had been pulled
2 problems with polls
1. way questions are worded
2. can create public opinion instead of measuring it
political socialization
the learning process where most of our attitudes and beliefs that are expressed as political opinions are acquired

it is a process that begins in early childhood and continues througout life
mass media
newspapers, magazines, tv, radio --- all have a impact on political socialization
public opinion poll
a survey of the public's opinion on a particular topic
8 factors that influence/affect our public opinions
1. Family - moral, religious, traditional, and ethical values

2. Education
3. Mass Media
4. Opinion Leaders
5. Peer Groups
6. Economic Status
7. Occupation
8. Age
Peer Group
a group of people who share a number of social characteristics

i.e. co-workers, friends, classmates, clubs, church groups
supporters of the idea that the national government should take an active role in the nation's domestic problems; and that more needs to be done to close the gap between the rich and the poor

those who value tradition and promote public policies that conserve tradition and the ways of the past;

high value on principles of community, continuity, and law and order;

believe that the national government is already too big and shouln't be expanded any further
people whose political views are in between the liberal and conservative camps
Radical Left
radicals whose followers are willing to work against the established political agencies to reach their goals; they may advocate violence or overthrowing the government to achieve those goals

i.e. Communists and Socialists
Radical Right
radicals who resist change more strongly than do either moderates or conservatives; they are willing to actively fight against social change in order to return to the values and social systems of the past

i.e. Reactionaries and Fascists
people that hold a set of strong political opinions that are well thought-out and relatively consistent with one another; they can be either liberal OR conservative
Interest Group
an organization made up of people who share common objectives and who actively attempt to influence government policymakers through direct and indirect methods
Public Interest Groups
groups that are formed with teh broader goal of working for the "public good"
Trade Organizations
those organizations that are business groups and usually support policies that benefit business in general
Labor Force
the total of those over the age of 16 who are working or who are actively looking for a job
all attempts by organizations or individuals to influence the passage, defeat, or contents of legislation and the administrative decisions of government
a representative of an organized lobby who handles the group's lobbying efforts
Political Action Committees (PACs)
groups organized to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates;

Interest groups funnel money through PACs to the candidates whom they will think will benefit them the most
Rating Systems
through which some interest groups try to influence legislators;

they select legislative issues that are important to their groups' goals and rate legislators on the % of times the legislators vote favorably on those issues
What are the 5 methods that Lobbyists use to achieve their goals?
1. making personal contact with key legislators
2. Providing expertise to legislators or other govt officials
3. Offering "expert" testimonny before congressional committees for or against proposed legislation
4. Assisting legislators or bureaucrats in drafting legislation
5. Following Up
What are the 5 Indirect techniques that interest groups use to influence public policy?
1. Shaping Public Opinion
2. Mobilizing Constituents
3. Bringing Lawsuits
4. Influencing Judicial Appointments
5. Staging Demonstration
Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act
an act passed as in attempt to control lobbying; regulates interest groups and applies only to those persons or org.'s that lobby Congress
Commerce Clause
the Clause that gives Congress the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce; but it is not clearly defined in the Constitution, but through actions of the Congress under this clause, a defination has been formed
Executive Agreements
agreements made between the president and foreign chiefs of state; made without approval of Congress; but are still legally binding
made up of the heads of the departments in the executive branch
the period of holding office