Learning Objectives

10-1 Public Opinion in American Politics

  • Appraise the role that public opinion plays in American democracy and compare and contrast the different ways it may be expressed.

10-2 The Levels of Public Opinion

  • Distinguish between the different levels of public opinion, from broad values and beliefs, to partisan and ideological orientations, to attitudes and opinions on specific items.

10-3 How Informed Is Public Opinion?

  • Assess the mass public’s level of knowledge about American politics and the capacity of the public to contribute to the political process.

10-4 How Does Public Opinion Form?

  • Assess the political socialization process and identify the important factors (such as the family, schools, friends, religion) that contribute to the development of political opinions.

10-5 How Is Public Opinion Measured?

  • Differentiate between a scientific poll and an unscientific poll.

10-6 Interpreting Public Opinion Data

  • Analyze the findings from a poll along the dimensions of direction, intensity, and stability of public opinion.