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When people remember whether or not they like a candidate or politician, but not why, they are engaged in forming opinions on the spot, which tend to be based on:
B. memory-‐based processing
C. value-‐based thinking
D. political socialization
Which of the following best describes the liberal-conservative profile of the American public?
A. A majority of Americans describe themselves as conservative.
B. Most Americans are neither strongly conservative nor strongly liberal. C. Most Americans lean toward being more liberal than conservative or moderate.
D. Americans are deeply divided, with most of them being either strongly liberal or strongly conservative.
E. Research on the liberal-‐conservative profile of the American public is inconsistent, and has generally yielded inconclusive results.
Polling of the Afghanistan war reveals that:
A. the public has remained deeply polarized on foreign policy issues B. the public always views war as the nation’s most important problem
C. the public remains strongly supportive of U.S. war efforts no matter the
D. public support for war can be influenced by major events such as the death of Osama bin Laden
E. public support rarely changes even following major events such as the death of Osama bin Laden
People who give answers that they believe interviewers want to hear are a problem for survey research because this can lead to social desirability bias.
Early public research came to startling conclusions about public opinion, including:
A. many citizens had surprisingly high levels of factual information B. Americans were overwhelmingly conservative on almost every political issue C. Americans were overwhelmingly liberal on almost every political issue D. many citizens held inconsistent opinions E. older Americans were less informed about politics than most firsttime voters
An issue scale asks people:
A. to state how closely they are to one of several policy options
B. how liberal or conservative they feel
C. why they are Republican or Democrat
D. what policies are most important to them
E. to identify their socioeconomic status
Sampling error in surveys increases when the survey questions are misleading.
Public opinion surveys indicate that the economy is:
A. almost always one of the top three issues of concern to Americans B. a concern of the poor and working class, but not the wealthy
C. almost always a greater concern to Republicans than to Democrats D. only a top concern when unemployment is high
E. more likely to be a top concern when there is a Republican president
Most people have political opinions that are similar to those of their parents because research shows that an individual’s interactions with others while growing up can have a significant influence on an individual’s political opinions later in life.
A. true B. false
The United States has experienced a significant increase in ideological polarization in the past thirty years.
A. true B. false
Climate change has been a difficult issue for members of Congress and the president to agree upon because:
A. Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided on the issue
B. the public’s opinion is vastly different from the opinions shared by most members of Congress
C. the public’s opinion differs sharply from the president’s position
D. public opinion changes frequently on the issue E. the issue involves science
Social desirability bias is a problem for surveys because:
A. it increases sampling error
B. the results fail to account for the opinions of the poor C. the answers from respondents are not truthful
D. it skews the results in favor of Republican candidates E. it skews the results in favor of Democratic candidates
Although Americans generally tend to dislike , they are relatively happy with .
A. their own representatives; the American political system B. the U.S. Congress as a whole; their own representatives
C. both of their state’s U.S. senators; their representative in the U.S. House D. democracy; their own representatives
E. the president; the federal government
Which of the following is considered a problem with mass surveys?
A. Random sampling produces sampling error in surveys.
B. Results are often inadvertently influenced by how questions are worded in the survey.
C. A typical mass survey of 1,000 people is simply not large enough to draw scientific conclusions about national public opinion.
D. Random digit dialing only reaches people with telephones, which biases the sample by over-‐representing the wealthy.
E. Organizations that conduct polls almost always skew their results to favor the candidate or party that they support.
Many opinion polls focus on evaluations of government and officeholders because:
A. most people enjoy following these polls
B. views on how government is performing are often an indicator of people’s views on specific policies
C. political parties and campaigns use them to mobilize their supporters D. the news organizations that sponsor them are attempting to shape public opinion by reporting the results of these polls
E. officeholders demand that this be done so that they have the information they need to serve their constituents
One study found that people are more likely to know the names of characters on The Simpsons than to know which individual liberties the Bill of Rights guarantees. If studies like this one were the last word on public opinion research, there would be:
A. evidence of how television programs play a powerful role in the political socialization of Americans
B. little need to study public opinion because most people would have little to say of importance
C. strong reason to study public opinion because it would demonstrate that television is potentially harmful to democracy
D. a serious crisis for American government because it would show that “government by the people” was destined for collapse
E. cause for concern among political scientists because it would show how sampling error affects public opinion research
A Pew Research Center survey of 1,500 randomly selected people, with a sampling error of +/-3, showed that 52 percent of the respondents viewed the military effort in Afghanistan to be going well. Based on this result, what percentage of the population views the military effort in Afghanistan to be going well?
A. 52 percent
B. anywhere from 49 to 52 percent C. anywhere from 52 to 55 percent D. anywhere from 49 to 55 percent E. sampling error and the question wording make it impossible to determine
Americans’ collective demands for government action on domestic policies are measured by:
A. ideological polarization B. policy mood
C. trust in government D. partisanship
E. the reelection rates of incumbent officeholders
Mass opinion surveys:
A. have become more accurate over time because of the increase in Internet polls
B. have become so sophisticated that scientists have been able to eliminate any margin of error
C. are a powerful tool for measuring public opinion but should be interpreted carefully
D. should never be trusted because samples are almost always biased
E. cannot give an accurate picture of public opinion because media outlets that often conduct the surveys have a liberal bias
The main reason that people have low levels of conceptualization is because they are forming opinions “on the spot.”
While 38 percent of those surveyed with a high school education in the 2010 General Social Survey agree that the Bible is the literal word of God, only 11 percent of those with an advanced degree in the survey share that opinion. This difference is an example of what concept discussed in the text?
A. importance of groups in opinion formation
B. latent opinions
C. social desirability bias
D. political values
E. partisan preferences
A is a subgroup that is carefully chosen from a larger group of people.
A. random sample B. population C. push poll
D. sampling error E. target population
The fact that people are socialized into politics by their family and community means that:
A. they never modify their political principles B. their opinions almost never change
C. very little thought goes into political opinions
D. events early in life can affect one’s sense of civic duty into adulthood
E. other possible sources of influence, such as a high school civics class or political activity at a young age, have no real impact on one’s political principles
Political scientist John Zaller showed that opinion changes generated by an event or some other piece of new information are more likely when:
A. the individual is a senior citizen and has more life experiences upon which to reflect
B. the individual follows politics closely and knows that political issues can be complicated
C. the individual is more highly educated and is used to considering different possibilities
D. the individual is liberal and open-‐minded about different ideas and explanations
E. the individual does not have a set of preexisting principles with which to interpret the event
Which of the following statements about sampling error is true?
A. Sampling error can be eliminated from a mass survey.
B. Sampling error prevents any poll results from being taken seriously.
C. Sampling error is usually lower if the majority of the sample includes people with a four-‐year college degree.
D. Sampling error is usually lower if the majority of the sample includes people with strong political opinions.
E. Sampling error decreases as the size of the sample gets larger.
According to the research of political scientists Lawrence Jacobs and Robert Shapiro, shifting public reaction against President Obama’s heath care proposal was based on:
A. the haphazard way that people sought information about the proposal B. the fact that most Americans have long opposed health care reform C. the way that the proposal was framed by the mass media
D. which news organization conducted the survey
E. how opponents used images and made dire predictions of what the proposal might do
Inaccurate or outlandish survey results sometimes derive from the fact that
A. random samples are almost impossible to obtain
B. Americans hold increasingly extreme ideological and political views C. people do not necessarily take polls seriously
D. news organizations bias their results to improve the survey results for their preferred candidate or issue
E. the American public knows and understands very little about politics
When an issue or topic is salient, the survey respondent is:
A. likely to be confused by the question
B. unlikely to answer the question or to take it seriously C. likely to express thoughtful, but inaccurate opinions D. likely to express thoughtful and accurate opinions E. likely to answer the question, but with a response that the respondent thinks the interviewer wants to hear
Public opinion polls concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reveal:
A. most people gave responses based on their feelings about war in general B. most people remain strong supporters of war even over a long period of time C. most people gave responses that distinguished between the two conflicts D. most people expressed apathy about the two wars
E. most people had no clear or distinguishable views about the two wars
Over the last three decades, how have the ideological views of the American public changed?
A. There has been a significant increase in the number of conservatives. B. There has been a significant increase in the number of moderates. C. There has been a significant increase in the number of liberals.D. There has been no significant increase among liberals, moderates, or conservatives.
E. There is no conclusive evidence on this subject.
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