Public Opinion Measuring the American Mind

ISBN-10: 144221502X
ISBN-13: 9781442215023
Edition: 4th 2012
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Description: The new edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive, accessible introduction to public opinion in the United States and describes how public opinion data are collected, how they are used, and the role they play in the U.S. political  More...

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Book details

List price: $44.95
Edition: 4th
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/29/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

The new edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive, accessible introduction to public opinion in the United States and describes how public opinion data are collected, how they are used, and the role they play in the U.S. political system. Bardes and Oldendick introduce students to the history of polling and explain the factors a good consumer of polls should know in order to evaluate public opinion data. Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind is the only text to devote significant space to the history of polling, the use of polling in America today, and to explain the methods used for survey research. In addition, Bardes & Oldendick engage students by providing in-depth coverage of public opinion on issues—social welfare, gun control, death penalty, abortion, gay rights, civil rights, and foreign policy—over time and with an analysis of group differences for each subject. This lively, engaging text combines a comprehensive grounding in the nuts and bolts of the field with up-to-date, real-world examples.

List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables
Preface
Public Opinion and American Democracy
Public Opinion and American Democracy
Defining Public Opinion
Does Public Opinion Matter?
Public Opinion versus Public Judgment
Opinions, Attitudes, and Beliefs
The Current Environment
The Plan of the Book
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Measuring American Opinion: The Origins of Polling
The Origins of Public Opinion Polling
The Development of Survey Research
The Election of 1948: A Temporary Setback
After 1948: Continued Growth
A Surge in Telephone Interviewing: The Development of Random-Digit Dialing
The Rise of Internet Polling
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
How are Opinions Measured and Used?
How Public Opinion Data are Used
Using Public Opinion in Political Campaigns
The Use of Public Opinion Polling by Elected Officeholders
The Use of Polling Data by Government Agencies
Public Opinion and Interest Groups
The Use of Polling by the Media
Tracking Presidential Approval Ratings
The Call-In Poll
The Use of Public Opinion Data in Academic Research
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
How are Opinions Measured?
Modes of Survey Data Collection
Populations of Interest
Selecting a Sample
Random-Digit Dialing
Sampling for Electronic Data Collection
Sampling Error
Sample Size
Questionnaire Design
Data Analysis
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
What do Americans Believe?
The Sources of Opinions
The Political Learning of Children and Adolescents
The Influence of Formal Education
The Curriculum
Ritual and Ceremony
The Teachers
School Behaviors
The Influence of Ethnic Identity
Religion and Public Opinion
Gender and Opinions
The Influence of Peers
Generational Influences on Opinion
The Media's Influence on Opinion
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
What the Public Knows about Politics
Early Empirical Investigations
The Unchanging American Voter
Applying Democratic Principles
Group Differences in Knowledge
The Consequences of Political Knowledge
A Glass-Half-Full Perspective?
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Political Orientations
Political Ideology
Party Identification
Confidence in Institutions
Trust in Government
Power of the Federal Government
Summary
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Public Opinion on Social-Welfare Issues
Social-Welfare Issues
Social Security
Education
Health Care
Assisting the Needy
The Environment
The Issue of Global Warming
Group Differences in Attitudes
Summary
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Americans' Views on Racial Issues
Racial Desegregation
Fair Employment Practices
Affirmative Action
Government Aid to Minority Groups
Spending on Racial Issues
Other Issues of Race: Historical and Contemporary
The Increasing Influence of Hispanics
Summary
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Public Opinion on Highly Controversial Issues
The Politics of Crime and Criminal Justice
The Politics of Individual Rights
Public Opinion toward Abortion
Public Opinion on Gay Issues
American Views on Gun Control
Thinking about Weapons and Government Controls
Immigration: A Mind Divided
Summary
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
How Americans View Foreign and Defense Policies
American Opinion in the Post-9/11 World
Public Opinion and Foreign Policy: Which Opinions?
Foreign Policy Goals and Priorities
Issues of War and Peace
Terrorism and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Peacekeeping, Rescue, and Other Uses of Military Force
Foreign Aid and Other International Issues
How Do Americans Think about Foreign Policy?
Summary
Polls, Polling, and the Internet
Public Opinion: A Critical Perspective
Challenges Facing Public Opinion Research: Issues of Reliability and Trust
Pseudo-Polls
Technological Developments
Respondent Factors
The Cost of Survey Errors
The Continuing Case for Polling
Conclusion
Sources of Public Opinion Data
Questions from the American National Election Studies and General Social Surveys
Glossary
Notes
References
Index
About the Authors

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