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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Public Opinion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xv
  • Part One - Introducing Public Opinion 1
  • Chapter One - The Meanings of Public Opinion 3
  • Notes 30
  • Chapter Two - The History of Public Opinion 62
  • Chapter Three - Methods for Studying Public Opinion 65
  • Conclusion 99
  • Notes 99
  • Part Two - Theories of Public Opinion 101
  • Chapter Four - Psychological Perspectives 103
  • Notes 139
  • Chapter Five - Sociological Perspectives 145
  • Conclusion 171
  • Notes 172
  • Chapter Six - Perception and Opinion Formation 207
  • Chapter Seven - Basic Beliefs, Democratic Theory, and Public Opinion 212
  • Conclusion 242
  • Notes 243
  • Part Three - Public Opinion in Context 247
  • Chapter Eight - Public Opinion and Democratic Competence 249
  • Conclusion 291
  • Notes 292
  • Chapter Nine - Public Opinion and Policymaking 299
  • Conclusion 335
  • Notes 336
  • Chapter Ten - The Content of Our Attitudes: Public Opinion in the Contemporary United States 341
  • Conclusion 376
  • Notes 377
  • Chapter Eleven - Communicating with the Public 412
  • Chapter Twelve - Campaigning and Opinion Change 445
  • Chapter Thirteen - Looking Ahead 451
  • Index 453
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