Presentation on theme: "What is Public Opinion? Public opinion can be described as those attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics."— Presentation transcript:
1 What is Public Opinion?Public opinion can be described as those attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics.Different PublicsThe United States is made up of many groups, or publics, who share common views.
2 Publics Continued… Public Opinion More than one public opinion can exist at the same time, because there are many publics. A view or position must be expressed in the open in order to be a public opinion.
3 Measuring Public Opinion Elections – By votes cast for a particular candidate or part.Interest groups (Pressure Groups) – Size and active participation.Media – Editorials, syndicated columns, television commentaries, amount of time given an issue.
4 Public PollingStraw Vote – asking the same question to a large number of people… (highly unreliable – does nothing to ensure that a reasonable cross-section of the total population will be represented.)Scientific Polling – a complex process that attempts to follow a specific set of guidelines to gauge public opinion. Using a small sample to represent the population as a whole.
5 Scientific Polling Define the universe Construct a representative samplePrepare valid questionsSelect and control the means by which the poll will be takenReport the finding to the public
6 Scientific Polling: 1. Define the Universe the whole population that the poll aims to measureex. voters in Chicago, the entire high school population of Illinois, All Republicans, All Democrats, people whose ages are 35-50…
7 Scientific Polling: 2. Construct a Representative Sample Random Sampletakes into account a certain number of randomly selected peopleQuota SampleDeliberately selected sample of people constructed to reflect several of the major characteristics of the universe.
8 Scientific Polling: 3. Prepare Valid Questions Question wording is extremely important as the wording can effect the reliability of the poll.Purposely try not to use “loaded” words (terms that are difficult to understand) or word questions in such a way that will tend to shape the answers that are given.
9 Scientific Polling: 4. Select and Control the Polling Face to facetelephonemailin face to face polling, appearance (dress, attitude, and tone can have a big impact)
10 Scientific Polling: 5. Report the Findings To be of real value poll data must be analyzed, interpreted, and published.Real Clear Politics
11 Limitations of Polls and Public Opinion While major national polls are fairly reliable, challenges to the intensity, stability, and relevance of an issue cause changes in public opinion over time.Some believe that polls help shape opinions that they are supposed to measure.The force public opinion has can be tempered by numerous factors: interest groups, family, education etc.From the data and interpretations, and organization can draw conclusions and see if the poll validated or repudiated their hypothesis.