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41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the contradictions in public opinion?
People complain if politicians don't do what they want, but complain about politicians following public opinion polls; They think government spends too much, but want more money for their favorite programs.
What is Public Opinion?
The collection of individual opinions toward issues or objects of general interest to people.
Are stable opinions usually intense or mild?
Intense, and information based (which may or may not be accurate)
The process of forming public opinion is known as ____________________
Political Socialization, and is spread by the same methods as political culture; media, schools, parents, and living in the culture.
Most middle teenagers believe what about our country?
They believe it is low in limiting violence and encouraging political morality, but high in providing educational opportunities and a good standard of living, science, and technology.
How do most adults feel about our government, according to the book?
They support our ideals in principle, but are cynical and distrustful of politicians.
How does the media contribute to our cynicism and lack of trust in politicians?
It exagerates partisanship and conflict over other political activities
What are the primary agents of political socialization?
Mass Media
Adult Socialization
How does the family affect political socialization of a child?
The child listens to and imitates the parents, picks up their opinions, and also is influenced by the socio-economic level into which it is born, which affects political views
How do schools affect our political growth?
They are good at creating good citizens, who accept political authority and procedures (such as voting), but not as good at ecouraging active participation in politics.
Are college professors more liberal and are they indoctrinating their students?
Probably not; some studies show that professors are not necessarily liberal, and diversity in college also inhibits indoctrination.
What effect do attacks on government have on our opinion of government?
They increase support and appreciation for government ("the only people going up the WTC stairs were government people")
What is the only fairly accurate way to measure public opinion?
Scientific Polls
What is the political opinion of most newspaper publishers?
Conservative, and this is reflected in their editorials.
Other than polls, how do politicians gain some knowledge about public opinion? And why aren't these accurate measures?
Letters to them, newspaper articles or editorials that address issues, protests and demonstrations. The problem is that these are usually the result of people with specific issues to push, not the general public.
What are straw polls?
Unscientific polls, often estimates from newspaper reporters and political leaders.
Scientific polling was inspired by the practice of ___________________ after World War I.
Market research, which showed the validity of probability-based sampling techniques.
Clinton chose his vacation based on polling results (Republicans golf, Democrats hike). Did he usually follow the polls rather than political belief?
No, he often bucked the polls for things he believed in, such as NAFTA.
Why does the media use polls so much?
They are easy and quick to use.
What are problems in taking polls?
People often won't participate, it's hard to ensure a representative sample, some people make up an opinion even if they don't have one to avoid looking ignorant.
What are SLOP surveys?
Self-selected Listener Opinion Polls. They are meaningless becuase do not use a representative sample.
What are Push Polls?
Ones in which the pollster pushes information or situations to the respondent to get a reaction.
How can Push Polls be misused?
By pushing false information into an area to harm an opposing candidate.
What are exit polls?
Polls taken as people leave the place of voting, usually but not always fairly good.
How can polls affect elections?
People in the West may not bother to vote if the polls show a clear winner in the East, and
Candidates may withdraw if early polls show them losing, rather than keep on fighting
Fifty percent of people polled had an opinion on whether the Public Affairs Act of 1975 should be repealed. What's wrong with this statistic?
There is no such act; people responded to avoid looking ignorant
Are Americans in general knowledgeable about their Senators and Representatives?
Most don't know who their elected lawmakers are.
What is ideology?
a highly organized and coherent set of opinions, such as liberalism and conservatism.
The ideology of liberalism is _________
Government has an obligation to help individuals, groups, and communities that are economically disadvantaged by providing them with such things as health care, education, and income.
The ideology of conservatism is __________
Individuals are responsible for their own well-being and the government has little or no obligation to help or improve individuals or communities.
Why aren't most Americans strongly ideological?
In general, they don't care much about politics, but are more concerned with family and jobs. Also, politicians try to appeal to all, so usually don't stress one ideology over another.
Liberals believe __________________ on religion?
Questions of religious belief and sexual morality should be left to individuals to decide for themselves.
Conservatives believe ______________ on religion?
They are more willing to call on government to enforce particular standards of behavior.
_________________s usually favor a ban on abortion and to require prayer in public schools (liberals or conservatives).
Conservatives see these as a proper use of governmental power to protect our moral standards
Why do middle-class whites living in a mixed neighborhood generally not support more spending on blacks?
They see the blacks in their neighborhood as generally as well off as they are and as competitition for jobs
What is political tolerance?
the willingness of individuals to extend procedural rights and liberties to people with whom they disagree
Intolerance toward immigrants and minorities in the 80s and 90s was a result of ______________
economic insecurity; people didn't want competition for jobs
Is trust in government increasing or decreasing since the 60s?
Generally decreasing, although there was a surge right after 9/11
Trust in government can be linked to what factor of government performance?
Policy success increases trust, along with meeting expectations and political maneuvers by the party out of power
How does the media contribute to our opinions on trust in government?
Government is much more open, and the public sees political maneuvering and compromise as it happens. They often don't understand the need for these actions.
How did President Bush attempt to gain support for his economic packages after 9/11?
By tying the economy to the terrorist threat, where he had good public support