POL Ch. 6 Public Opinion

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The term public opinion is used to describe

beliefs and attitudes toward different issues, events, and people.

The complex set of beliefs and values that, as a whole, form a general philosophy about the government is called ________.

political ideology

The difference between a political value and a political attitude is that

values are basic principles while attitudes are specific preferences.

The belief that government is a wasteful and dangerous institution and should be limited to as few activities as possible is an example of a political ________.


Which of the following statements about political opinions is FALSE?

The poor are generally less supportive of

________ ushered in the tax revolt and the deregulation of many government policies in the 1980s.

Ronald Reagan

Which of the following terms describe America’s fundamental political values?

liberty, equality of opportunity, and democracy

________ support abortion rights and oppose state involvement with religious institutions.


The fact that Americans strongly support the idea that governmental interference with individuals’ lives and property should be kept to a minimum illustrates their commitment to ________.


________ is one of the most important mechanisms for obtaining equality of opportunity

Public Education

________ is the most important core value of liberalism


________ is the core political value most highly prioritized by American conservatives.


A socialist is someone who believes that

government should be very active in many spheres in order to reduce economic and social inequality.

Liberalism and conservatism are good examples of

politcal ideologies

Opposition to legalized abortion is a position most likely supported by ________ while support for legalized abortion is a position most likely supported by ________.

conservatives; liberals

Which of the following is true of trust in government?

Very low trust in government is a reality in contemporary politics.

The process by which underlying political values are formed is known as

political socialization.

People’s political party preferences are primarily acquired through the influence of

their families

The term gender gap refers to

differences in political opinions between men and women

What did the framers identify as the greatest source of political conflict for the United States?

differences between the rich and the poor

What is one of the main differences between those who have gone to college and those who have not?

There is a higher level of political participation among those with a college education.

The transition many white southerners made from the Democratic to the Republican Party is a good example of

the changes in political conditions and circumstances in the South, rather than in opinions or values.

Which of the following statements about agencies of socialization is FALSE?

An individual’s religion has no impact on their political views.

The fact that Democratic Party leaders have become more liberal and Republican Party leaders more conservative is important because

partisans in the public tend to rely on party leaders for cues on the appropriate positions to take on major political issues.

Which of the following statements is true?

Latino voters may shift the balance of political power in Texas in the next decade.

Which of the following was NOT part of the George W. Bush administration’s effort to maintain support for its war on terror?

donations to academic institutions

________ promoted his policy agenda to the American people through "fireside chats."


The concept of a marketplace of ideas refers to

the competition between varying opinions and ideas that are aired in public forums.

Each of the following organizations has a liberal orientation EXCEPT ________.

the Chamber of Commerce

________ led the exposure of the Watergate scandal.

Journalists at the Washington Post

Which of the following is true about Latino voters in the United States?

Latino voters helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004.

Why does the marketplace of ideas often have a moderating effect on people’s opinions?

Given constant exposure to other people’s ideas, it is almost impossible for one not to modify one’s own viewpoints.

Which of the following statements about governmental public relations efforts is FALSE?

Due to its size and power, the government is always successful at influencing public opinion.

Which of the following is NOT true about current trends in public opinion?

More Americans favor gun control today than in the 1990s.

Which of the following statements about public opinion in America is true

Citizens with high levels of knowledge are generally better able to evaluate new information to determine its relevancy to their beliefs.

Which of the following best characterizes the Clinton administration’s attempts to influence public opinion?

Clinton administration officials used techniques similar to those used in election campaigns to bolster popular enthusiasm for White House initiatives.

Which of the following statements is true about the news media?

The mass media have an enormous impact on public opinion.

Which of the following statements about the forces that shape public opinion is NOT true?

Presidents rarely attempt to influence public support for the policies they are promoting.

The increased importance that politicians have placed on public opinion polls over the last 50 years is due partly to

The fact that it has become very difficult for political leaders to experience public opinion directly.

Pollsters use random digit dialing to gather national samples for surveys because

there is not a complete list of all Americans that can be used to identify the population.

"Retail politics" refers to

campaigns where candidates meet citizens face-to-face to discuss politics.

The famous Lincoln-Douglas debates took place

outside, in the cornfields and town squares of Illinois.

The typical margin of error in a sample survey of 1,500 respondents is ________.

2.5 percent

The social desirability effect refers to

the fact that respondents report what they expect the interviewer wishes to hear or whatever they think is socially acceptable rather than what they actually believe or know to be true.

In 1948, election night polls showed that ________ would win the presidential election.

Thomas Dewey

In 1936, pollsters at the Literary Digest were guilty of ________ when they mistakenly predicted a presidential victory for Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt by polling people whose names came from the telephone book and automobile registration records

selection bias

The practice of push polling involves

the procedure of asking loaded questions in order to subtly shape the respondent’s opinion.

A frequent cause of measurement error in polls is due to ________.

poorly worded questions

Which statement concerning the news media is FALSE?

In a free democracy, the news media provides information without framing or interpreting it in any particular way.

Research into public opinion and public policy has shown that

more affluent and more educated citizens have a disproportionate influence over politics and public policy decisions.

Which of the following statements is true about public opinion in the contemporary time period?

Digital citizenship offers the promise of a more informed electorate.

Which of the following statements about public opinion is FALSE?

Shifts in public opinion on particular issues do not lead to changes in public policy.

Which of the following statements about the relationship between public opinion and government policy is most accurate?

Although there is no one-to-one correlation between public opinion and government policy, shifts in public opinion on particular issues frequently lead to changes in government policy.

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