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Define public opinion.
- political attitudes expressed by ordinary people and considered as a whole
- particularly as they are revealed by polling surveys
Understand random sampling.
- the selection of survey respondents by chance, with equal probability of being selected to ensure they are representative of the whole population
- can "weight" a population group giving it more or less significance if it looks like a group was under or over represented
- challenges include issues of how questions are worded and timing
Define political socialization and explain the agents of socialization.
political socialization is the process by which individuals come to have certain core beliefs and political attitudes
agents of socialization are the instruments by which beliefs and attitudes are conveyed to individuals in society.. such as our families, schools, popular culture, major events, college education
a coherent system of interlocking attitudes and beliefs about politics, the economy and the role of the government
Know what the presidential approval ratings reveal.
- a presidents standing with the public, indicated by the percentage of Americans who tell survey interviewers that they approve a presidents "handling of his job"
- indicator of popularity
Know the differences between conservatives and liberals.
- economic conservative - economic liberty and freedom with little govt interference
- economic liberal - govt regulation is necessary in ensuring equal opportunity
- social liberal - favor free choices and rights (abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
- social conservative - prefer govt enforcement of order and "traditional values"
Note the policy preferences when it comes to spending programs.
- policy preferences refers to citizens' ideas about what policies they want govt to pursue
- numbers show that Amers think we are spending too little on fighting crime, providing health insurance, etc.
- consistent support to social security, medicare, epa, and for disease research
- people think too much is being spent on foreign aid