ï»¿Magruder's American Government.
C H A P T E R 8: Mass Media and Public Opinion.
SECTION 1 The Formation of Public Opinion.
SECTION 2 Measuring Public Opinion.
SECTION 3 The Mass Media.
S E C T I O N 1: The Formation of Public Opinion.
What is public opinion and why is it so difficult to define?.
How do family and education shape public opinion?.
What additional factors shape public opinion?.
What is Public Opinion?.
The United States is made up of many groups, or publics, who share common news. .
Public affairs are those events and issues that concern the public at large. In its proper sense, public opinion includes only those views that relate to public affairs.
More than one public opinion can exist at the same time, because there are many publics. A view or position must be expressed in the open in order to be a public opinion. .
The Political Spectrum.
Family and Education.
Children first see the political world from within the family and through the family's eyes.
The strong influence the family has on the development of political opinions is due to the large amount of time children spend with the family.
Children acquire political knowledge throughout their time in the classroom. .
Students are taught about political systems, patriotism, and great Americans. Some are even required to take a course on government in high school.
Other Factors Influencing Public Opinion.
The mass media include those means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences (masses of people) simultaneously. The mass media has a huge effect on the formation of public opinion.
Peer groups are made up of the people with whom one regularly associates, including friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers.
An opinion leader is any person who, for any reason, has an unusually strong influence on the views of others.