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FSU POS 3204 - Chapter 5

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POS 3204 Exam #2 ReviewChapter 5 Ideology – An interrelated set of attitudes and values about the proper goals of society and how they should be achieved.  Converse’s findings about Ideologyo Converse found that most people do not have a belief system - a “configuration of ideas and attitudes which are bound together by some form of constraint or functional interdependence.” Converse’s 5 categories of ideology & share of the populationo No Issue Content - Do not tie their like or dislike of a candidate to any sort of positions that they take.  “Likes Bush because of “his sincerity. He surrounds himself with good people and he is well connected.o Nature of the Times - Tend to judge leaders based largely on personal conditions (like the pocketbook voters) Dislikes Bush because “every time a Republican is in office, I’m in the unemployment line.” Is this unsophisticated?o Group Interest - Equate elected officials with the interest of one’s particular age, ethnic, or other group. Likes Gore because “his healthcare reforms, so no senior citizens will have out of pocket medical expenses.”o Near Ideologue - has vague understanding of the liberal/conservative divide between the parties. Dislikes Democrats because “they are too liberal,” with little to no elaborationo Ideologues - People who organize their thoughts based on the traditional liberal-conservative spectrum. Likes Bush because “he is for limited government. He wants to cut taxes and reduce the deficit.” Attitude Constraint - Some dimension (not only a liberal-conservative dimension) that governs and controls multiple attitudeso Tests the proposition that the beliefs of the public are constrained along other dimensions than liberal-conservative ideology. Consistency in beliefs towards welfare  Consistency in beliefs towards foreign engagement Criticisms of Converseo A Product of the Times o Many argue that the Party differences have grown/Public Perception of Party Differenceso Scholars have found that the correlation between issue positions has increased over the decades.o Group Ideology – Converse considers this to be a lower level of sophistication, but some scholars argue that organizing thoughts around group interest is perfectly rational. Ideological Sorting (see Fiorina/Abramowitz article for more discussion)o Fiorina’s claim of “party sorting” explains the distance between party affiliations based on their ideologies which argue that the divide is between conservatives and liberals, where the sorting takes place among political parties.  Measurement Erroro No method of measuring public opinion in this class will provide perfect measurement of opinion. Error is inherent in every measurement technique. Any deviation from what we are trying to measure is measurement error. Effects of double-sided vs. single-sided questions (think about in-class experiment)o Double-sided questions: Are considered to be better measures of attitudes generally. Provide a counterargument to the statement,  Considered more reliable measures of people’s actual opinion,  Very important when studying ideological thinking since they are better assessments of whether people issue opinions,  Correspond to the liberal-conservative continuum, attitude constraint expected to be higher.o Single-sided questions: Promotes agreement with the single states position because it does not provide respondents with other choices Positions of Fiorina and Abramowitz on polarization o Polarization – a presumption that refers to an individual’s position on a given issue and/or policy is defined by their identification of a particular political party. She argues that Abramowitz is simply describing sorting rather than polarization. o Abramowitz – argues that polarization in America is happening currently, and will continue to happen if things continue as is. He argues that Americans are moving further away from the moderate political ideologies and closer to the more extreme ends of their party. (i.e., liberal or conservative) o Fiorina – argues that Americans are no more polarized now than they were thirty years ago, but more “sorted” on a basis of party affiliation and ideology. She argues that Abramowitz is simply describing sorting rather than polarization. Low Information Rationality – People may not assess every potentiality when expressing an attitude, but make due with what they have available. o May allow people to express consistent beliefs in the absence of ideology.o What many people actually do Satisficing – Most people do not make the optimal choice, but instead do the “bare minimum” amount to make an adequate choice.o Three Ways to Satisfice:  Drunkards Search - The tendency for people to search in the easiest places, rather than the ones that are the most likely to yield results.  Gresham’s Law - Personal information about candidates and issues can drive more relevant information out of people’s minds Pseudo-Certainty Effect - The tendency to overvalue consistent information and undervalue inconsistent info. Heuristics – A “shortcut” to ideological consistencyo The way in which people satisfice is often to utilize heuristics.o Allow people to “look like” ideologues without the prerequisite knowledgeo Generally require much less effort and time than fully thinking something out. 5 Types of Heuristics o Party Identification (PID)o Representativeness Assessment - People have implicit ideas about what a good leader “looks like” in terms of background and demographic characteristicso Likeability Heuristic - Increase the association in the mind of the respondent between two things that they think are good or bad o Group Cues - Using information on whether or not important interest groups support a politician/or policy to determine one’s own supporto Symbolism - Using a single event or conception to encapsulate a broader spectrum of beliefs Likert Question – A type of item appearing on an opinion poll whereby a statement is presented to respondents who are asked whether they agree or disagree with the statementChapter 6 Kinder & 5 Factors that Influence Opiniono Personality - stable personal characteristics that influence a wide variety of political opinionso Self Interesto Valueso Historical Eventso Group Attitudes


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