Public Opinion

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Slideshow prepared for a series of lectures on Public Opinion and Political Socialization for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Spring 2008. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.

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Public Opinion

  1. 1. Public Opinion & Political Socialization Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” ~ Mark Twain
  3. 3. Public Opinion The politically relevant opinions held by ordinary citizens that they express openly through words or actions.
  4. 4. Polling
  5. 5. Survey Systematic interviews by trained, professional interviewers, who ask a standardized set of questions of a rather small number of randomly chosen citizens.
  6. 6. Public Opinion Poll a relatively few individuals (the sample) are interviewed in order to estimate the opinions of a whole population.
  7. 7. The Theory of Probability
  8. 8. Sampling Error?
  9. 9. The Bell Curve 68% 95%
  10. 10. Representative (Probability) Sample sample in which each individual in the population has a known probability of being selected at random for inclusion in the survey
  11. 11. Phone Books and Computer Dialing (cc) 2006 mj ecker Some Rights Reserved
  12. 12. What about Cell Phones? (cc) 2006 Andreww Hubbell Some Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Straw Polls Unscientific surveys which make no attempt at using a representative (random) sample in their polling.
  14. 14. 1936 Presidential Election
  15. 15. 1948 Presidential Election
  16. 16. 2004 Zogby Exit Polls
  17. 17. Push polls Polls which deliberately feed respondents misleading information or leading questions in an effort to “push” them into favoring a particular candidate or issue.
  18. 18. Surveys and Polling
  19. 19. Political Socialization the learning process through which people acquire their political opinions, beliefs & values.
  20. 20. Political beliefs are NOT ingrained… they are acquired through a lifelong learning process.
  21. 21. Political outlook is substantially influenced by childhood learning.
  22. 22. Political outlook is substantially influenced by childhood learning.
  23. 23. Political Socialization is CUMULATIVE in nature
  24. 24. VS.
  25. 25. Age-Cohort Tendency
  26. 26. Agents of Political Socialization
  27. 27. Agents of Political Socialization Family
  28. 28. Agents of Political Socialization Family Schools
  29. 29. Agents of Political Socialization Family Schools Mass Media
  30. 30. Agents of Political Socialization Family Schools Mass Media Peers
  31. 31. Agents of Political Socialization Family Schools Mass Media Peers Political Institutions & Leaders
  32. 32. Agents of Political Socialization Family Schools Mass Media Peers Political Institutions & Leaders Churches
  33. 33. Effects on Public Opinion of…
  34. 34. Effects on Public Opinion of… Race and ethnicity
  35. 35. Effects on Public Opinion of… Race and ethnicity Religion
  36. 36. Effects on Public Opinion of… Race and ethnicity Religion Region
  37. 37. Effects on Public Opinion of… Race and ethnicity Religion Region City vs. country
  38. 38. Effects on Public Opinion of… Race and ethnicity Religion Region City vs. country Party Affiliation

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