Learning Objectives

By reading this chapter, you will be able to do the following:

7.1 Understand how public opinion is dynamic and contested.

7.2 Discuss differing theories about public opinion formation and expression and the degree to which it is meaningful.

7.3 Describe the issues involved in transmitting and measuring American public opinion and constructing the instruments used to do so.

7.4 Examine the contributors to individual attitudes and public opinion.

7.5 Evaluate the power of individuals, events, and people’s interpretations of events to make lasting change in American politics.