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FSU POS 3204 - Chapter 8

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POS 3204 Test #3 ReviewChapter 8- Elite & Participatory democrats’ views of need for citizen knowledgeo Participatory Democrats – Democracy requires that citizens be fully informed so that theyknow what their policy preferences ought to be.o Participatory democrats assume that all citizens have the ability to understand what is going on in policy making.o Failure of citizens to be informed is a societal, rather than an individual problem.o Elitist Democrats – Democracy functions fine (or better?) when citizens leave decision making up the elites.o Elitists assume that it is not viable, and perhaps irrational, for citizens to try to become fully informed. - Generalists – Have a broad swath of knowledge about many key issues- Findings of Delli Carpini - Did a seminal study of political knowledge in the United States. - Found Three Important Types of Knowledge: Rules of the Game – Knowledge about the institutions and processes of government.  Substance of Politics – Knowledge about the key issues of the day People and Players – Knowledge of the important policymakers and newsmakers of the day.- Knowledge of foreign affairs relative to other countries- Bennett et. al found that being American “costs” people 2.5 answers on the index of foreign affairs knowledge on average.- Key finding: The predictors of knowledge are the same across countries.- Predictors of Political Knowledge:- Age – Older people are more politically informed than the young.- Sex – Men are politically informed than women.- Education – The educated are more politically informed than the uneducated.- Race – White are more politically informed than minorities.- Jerit, Barabas and Bolsen Key Findinings:- Theory: Extensive media attention to a particular issue will increase citizen knowledge.- Findings: Highly educated people don’t differ much in knowledge on low coverage issues.  Highly educated people differ much more on high coverage issues. Gap is extended when the source of coverage is print media. - AKA Highly educated people are able to understand print media better than those that are uneducated.- Issue Publics – Groups of individuals with an intense knowledge and interest in a particular aspect of political information. - Evidence of Issue Publics: Using Demographic Groups as the defining characteristic of Issue Publics Don’t Know Responses – Using the number of people who express an opinion onan issue as indicative membership in an Issue Public Expressed Interest/Most Important Issues – Using choice of a particular topic as one’s most important issue as indicative of Issue Public membership.- Probably the best method so far identified in the literature- Uninformed – A respondent who dos not know the answer to a particular question.- Misinformed – A respondent who thinks they know the answer to a question, but is incorrect.- Measuring Misinfordmedness: Examine individual level certainty with the expectation that misinformed will assert high levels of certainty on incorrect positions. Between Individuals – Look for increased error variance in responses- Intuition of Bayesian Updating:- Bayesian Updating – A model of opinion change where posterior belief is formulated from the combination of prior beliefs and new information, and the certainty associated with each.  Prior Belief – can be conceived of as normal distribution, with a mean belief and a variance indicating uncertainty. Posterior Belief – formed from the combination of the priors and the new information- Conception of Certainty and Mean Belief – More new information makes people more certain of their position. - Information Incorporation - EVERY new piece of information is incorporated into beliefs. More certain individuals update less in response to new information.- Implications of the Bayesian Model:  In the context of factual information, people can be rational updaters. It is important to account for certainty when determining whether belief change isoccurring or not. Antithesis of Motivated Reasoning viewpoint.- Interest in Politics:- Men are more interested than women.- Partisans more interested than non-partisans.- Interests varies by the political context: 51% of African Americans expressed interest in 2008 44% of Whites did in 2008 32% African Americans expressed interest in 2004Chapter 9- Political Tolerance – A willingness to allow the presentation of ideas and interests that one opposes. - Marketplace of Ideas – Many different political ideas being available to the public.- Stouffer Study-what did he measure, how, findings- Changes in Support for Civil Liberties Over Time:o Stouffer used national probability sample to assess support for civil liberties across three groups: Communists Atheists Socialistso Stouffer’s Key Findings: Political tolerance for specific hated groups was fairly low in 1954. Citizens do differentiate between groups in determining their tolerance level Citizens support some civil liberties more than otherso Tolerance Over Time:  The biggest gain in tolerance has been for gay males.- 87% of Americans support the free speech and rights of gay males. Tolerance for all groups has increase dover time, but Muslim extremists have the lowest tolerance. - Problems with the Stouffer Method:o Makes the assumption that Communists, etc. are things that are disliked by most Americans.- Sullivan’s Alternative Approach – Let people choose from a list of dislikable groups the ones they like least.o Findings:  Communists were the most disliked in 1978; but only 4% reported communists in2005.  In 1978, groups on the left were the most disliked. In 2005, groups on the right were the most disliked. Tolerance is higher for Atheists and Communists than for self-selected least favored group. Groups that attain status as the most disliked are likely to face political repression.o Critiques:  The questions present a dual stimuli that makes it difficult to tease our causality. Questions are rapid, and the emotional affect against disliked groups may dominate thought in the minds of many.- Pluralistic Intolerance – No one group will be subjected to inordinate amounts of discriminationo Negative Interpretations: Gibson argues that Pluralistic Intolerance leads to many more individuals feeling like


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