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American Government. Chapter 6 Public Opinion and Political Socialization. Public Opinion. What is it? The aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs shared by some portion of the adult population Consensus versus Divided Opinion (p.194)

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American Government

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American government

American Government

Chapter 6

Public Opinion and Political Socialization


Public opinion

Public Opinion

  • What is it?

  • The aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs shared by some portion of the adult population

  • Consensus versus Divided Opinion (p.194)

  • Can you think of any examples of issues where there is a general consensus? What about divided opinion?


Political socialization

Political Socialization

  • Do you remember the term political socialization? What are its main sources?

  • What about the Internet? How can people become socialized by the Internet now?


Political preferences and voting behavior

Political Preferences and Voting Behavior

  • Many factors influence how you vote on election day:

    • Education

    • Income

    • Religion

    • Race

    • Gender

    • Geographic region


Measuring public opinion

Measuring Public Opinion

  • Opinion Poll- a method of systematically questioning a small, selected sample of respondents who are deemed representative of the total population

  • How might Polls be useful?

  • What about Sampling Error? (the difference between a sample’s result and the true result if the entire population had been interviewed)

  • Any other issues with opinion polls? (telephone problems, no cell phones yet, internet polling)


Political trust

Political Trust

  • The degree to which individuals express trust in the government

  • See Figure 6-5 on p. 213

  • See Table 6-3 on p. 214


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