The idea of the new in science is, or ought to be, nuanced. Research in public opinion over the last decade or so has exhibited a fresh and distinctive flavor, and I have tried to convey this. But viewed over a longer perspective, what is just as evident is the continuing exploration of the implications for democratic politics of the constraints on information and information processing of mass publics. From this angle, what is most original and telling in research in public opinion has manifestly come about by responding to what was most original and telling in the work of the classic analysts of public opinion -- Converse, McClosky, Stouffer, and Verba, among them.
For facilities at which to work, and colleagues with which to work, I want to thank the Survey Research Center and the Institute of Personality and Social Research, both of the University of California at work. Colleagues too numerous to mention have been generous with suggestions and criticism. I am, however, chiefly in debt to Anthony Tyler, a colleague of mine at the Institute of Personality and Social Research: his assistance was indispensable.
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