Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion

ISBN-10: 0521407869
ISBN-13: 9780521407861
Edition: 1992
List price: $45.99 Buy it from $26.99 Rent it from $17.96
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Description: In this book John Zaller develops a comprehensive theory to explain how people acquire political information from the mass media and convert it into political preferences. Using numerous specific examples, Zaller applies this theory in order to  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 8/28/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 382
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

In this book John Zaller develops a comprehensive theory to explain how people acquire political information from the mass media and convert it into political preferences. Using numerous specific examples, Zaller applies this theory in order to explain the dynamics of public opinion on a broad range of subjects, including both domestic and foreign policy, trust in government, racial equality, and presidential approval, as well as voting behavior in U.S. House, Senate and Presidential elections. Particularly perplexing characteristics of public opinion are also examined, such as the high degree of random fluctuations in political attitudes observed in opinion surveys and the changes in attitudes due to minor changes in the wording of survey questions.

List of tables and figures
Preface
Introduction: the fragmented state of opinion research
Information, predispositions, and opinion
How citizens acquire information and convert it into public opinion
Coming to terms with response instability
Making it up as you go along
The mainstream and polarization effects
Basic processes of 'attitude change'
Tests of the one-message model
Two-sided information flows
Information flow and electoral choice
Evaluating the model and looking toward future research
Epilogue: the question of elite domination of public opinion
Measures appendix
References
Index

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