Public Opinion

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

yet become fully informed about a policy at issue. Ideally, such policy decisions should be delayed until the public is more fully engaged in them, but even when this delay does not occur, persuading the public after the fact of the merit of a policy need not be dismissed as undemocratic, that is, only as long as deceit or manipulation has not occurred.


Conclusion

We have covered a lot of new ground in this chapter. Thanks to the expansion of public opinion research, there is much more evidence than ever before to tell us about the relationship between public opinion and policymaking and the workings of democracy. We have offered answers about the basic degree of correspondence or correlation between what the public has wanted and what the government has done. To make judgments about calling this "democracy at work" has required that we interrogate the evidence further in ways that are not simple and straightforward. This may be yet another frustration for students of public opinion.

But in everyday life, we now see a more direct and dynamic role than ever before of public opinion in politics and policymaking. We see this in the reporting of opinion polls and in the continual appeals to public opinion (often referred to as "going public")--including all types of political advertising--that are made through the mass media by presidents, members of Congress, political parties, organized groups, and others interested and active in the political process. 62 Some see this as a bad development that detracts from institutional consultations and deliberations among political leaders and experts who may be best able to formulate effective policies. Others see this as bad because it gives the public itself a false sense that what government does is democratic, even as the public is then manipulated in ways that do not necessarily serve the public's interests. Short of regulating public discourse, political leaders will have to adjust to this more visible role for the public (although the "recoil effect" cited earlier may lead elites unknowingly to respond to public opinion in their attempts to control it!).

Here, as in other areas of research, there is still some uncertainty in the findings and evidence we have reported, as well as in what to make of them, concerning how much actual public control of policymaking there is. Further archival research and interviews with former policymakers and government officials (when they are free to reflect honestly) should help decrease the uncertainty, along with further tracking of trends in public opinion and policymaking. Whether we conclude that the public only loosely constrains policymaking or that the public at times forcefully pushes the government to act in different ways, there is evidence that government policies are responsive to public opinion in the United States.

-335-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 478

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.