Public Opinion

By Carroll J. Glynn; Susan Herbst et al. | Go to book overview

these elements attempt to ascertain and influence opinions on social issues. The public opinion process is a process of social accommodation.

Public opinion is clearly more than responses to public opinion polls. It is a verbal expression of culture, of social interactions, of psychological processes. Students of public opinion should understand the approaches described in this chapter but should also make sure they have a solid grasp of theories developed in other fields, especially sociology, social psychology, and psychology. It is important that we understand how public opinion works so that we can go beyond mere speculation or description. The field is young and exciting, and there is much left to learn. Public opinion scholars of the future can help us understand this important and fundamental social process that is vital to our very survival.


Notes
1.
Perry R. Hinton, The Psychology of Interpersonal Perception ( London: Routledge, 1993).
2.
Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1922), pp. 4, 11.
3.
Charles H. Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order ( New York: Scribner, 1902).
4.
George J. McCall and J. L. Simmons, Identities and Interactions: An Examination of Human Associations in Everyday Life, 2d ed. ( New York: Free Press, 1978), p. 104.
7.
Jerome S. Bruner, "Social Psychology and Perception," in Eleanor E. Maccoby, Theodore M. Newcomb, and Eugene L. Hartley, ed., Readings in Social Psychology ( New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1958), p. 86.
8.
Paul R. Abramson, Political Attitudes in America: Formation and Change ( San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1983); M. Kent Jennings and Richard G. Niemi, Generations and Politics: A Panel Study of Young Adults and Their Parents ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981); Roberta L. Sangster and Robert W. Reynolds , "A Test of Inglehart's Socialization Hypothesis for the Acquisition of Materialist/Postmaterialist Values: The Influence of Childhood Poverty on Adult Values," Political Psychology 17 ( 1996):253-269.
9.
Leon Festinger, "A Theory of Social Comparison Processes," Human Relations 7 ( 1954):117-140.
12.
Hinton, Psychology of Interpersonal Perception.
13.
Carroll J. Glynn, Ronald E. Ostman, and Daniel G. McDonald, "Opinions, Perceptions and Social Reality," in Theodore L. Glasser and Charles T. Salmon, eds., Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent ( New York: Guilford Press, 1995), pp. 249-277.

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