Public Opinion and the Media

  1. Saliency
    • The degree to which an issue is important to a particular individual or group.
    • Ex. Social Security is highly salient with senior citizens, but not with younger citizens.
  2. Intensity
    • How strongly people feel about a particular issue.
    • Ex. gun control is not an intense issue among most Americans, but the NRA's opposition is intense, making it one of the nation's most powerful lobbying organizations.
  3. Stability
    • How quickly or slowly opinion of an issue changes.
    • Ex. Free market economy and democracy are stable.
    • Approval of the H.W. Bush administration was unstable.
  4. Polls
    • Conducted using random samples of the population to project the public opinion of America.
    • Contains sampling error to provide margins of accuracy.
    • Effective polls use neutral and close-ended questions.
    • Harris and Gallup are the best-known polls.
  5. Influences of Public Opinion (Political Socialization)
    • Family
    • Location
    • School
    • Religious Institutions
    • Mass Media
    • Higher Education
    • Real-life experiences
  6. Conservatives
    • Stresses individual responsibility.
    • Oppose governmental interference in th private sector.
    • Support government action on social issues.
  7. Liberal
    • Believe government should be used to remedy the social and economic injustices of the marketplaace.
    • Support government efforst to redress past social injustice.
    • Support separation of government and state.
    • Favor individual social freedom.
  8. Factors in Ideological and Political Behavior
    • Race/Ethnicity
    • Religion
    • Gender
    • Income level
    • Region
  9. Mass Media
    • News broadcasts on television, radio, and the Internet
    • Newspapers
    • News magazines, such as Time and Newsweek.
    • Magazine broadcast programs, such as 60 Minutes and 20/20.
    • Newsmaker interview programs, such as Meet the Press and Larry King Live.
    • Political Talk Radio
    • Websites, blogs, and online forums, such as Huffington Post or Politico
Card Set
Public Opinion and the Media
Princeton Review