Government final CH. 11

A plebiscite is
a popular vote on national policy issues
Regarding the impact of the public in American national decision making, the founders wanted
a system legitimated by the public but also protected from the possible dangers of the public’s power
Public opinion not only should matter but does matter in American politics because
politicians and the media act as if it matters
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One advantage of direct contact between elected officials and the public versus the use of public opinion polls is that direct contact
makes it less likely that certain public concerns will be overlooked
the proportion of the population selected to participate in a poll is known as the
sample
The relationship between sample size and sampling error is
the larger the sample, the smaller the sampling error will be
When politicians try to determine public opinion by listening to their supporters and friendly interest groups, they are likely to face the problem of
sample bias
Unscientific polls that are often conducted by newspapers and politicians to determine who is ahead in a political race are called _________ polls
Straw
With respect to constructing survey questions, all of the following statements are true EXCEPT…
Respondents are often willing to give opinions on subjects about which they know little or nothing.
Questions should not be ambiguous
Similar questions can yield surprisingly different answers
The order in which questions are asked can change the results
Surveys tend to underestimate the racial tolerance of the American people
Surveys tend to underestimate the racial tolerance of the American people
Sampling error refers to
a number that indicates within what range the results of a poll are accurate
Today the most likely cause of sampling bias in polls is
when a person is picked for the sample and he or she cannot be contacted or refuses to participate
One concern about the wording of questions in polls is that the person being sampled will be unfamiliar with a subject and therby
give responses solely based on cues picked up from the context of the interview or the question
Benchmark polls
are instrumental in designing campaign strategy
Americans voter turnout for national elections is
the lowest, or among the lowest, among industrialized nations
Benchmark polls and tracking polls are two types of
campaign polls
According to studies, Americans tend to be
not very knowledgeable about politics
Regarding tolerance, Americans are generally
supportive of general issues such as free speech but less supportive when asked to extend rights to unpopular groups
Which of the following is NOT an argument put forth by the textbook’s authors?
a. The higher the level of education, the more tolerance people tend to demonstrate on surveys.
b. Education may be related to knowing the right answers rather than actually being more tolerant. c. There are important cases in American history in which the educated elites were the leaders of intolerant behavior.
d. In many ways, less educated people are more tolerant than educated people.
e. Some observers argue that elites are the protectors of our democratic values.
in many ways, less educated people are more tolerant than educated people
Compared to other industrialized nations, the United States ranks _____ in voter participation
near the bottom
According to the text, the current process of political socialization in the United States
trains us to support and obey the existing political system
Which of the following is NOT mentioned in the textbook as an agent of socialization?
The family
The internet
Schools
Peers
Social groups
the internet
The sharp decline in trust in the government among the public in the 1960s and the 1970s is used by the authors to show the effects on political socialization of
political and social events
Which of the folowing pairs of items concerning socialization is not linked properly?
a. preschool years; nationalism
b. school; citizenship
c. groups; the spiral of silence
d. the media; socialization by major political and social events
e. the media; ideological orientation
the media; ideological orientation
The textbook does NOT argue the following:
a. Self-interest is a source of division in public opinion.
b. Self-interest is a source of agreement in public opinion.
c. Self-intereset is the major focus of self-interest is economic well-being.
d. Many people express opinions that seem to run counter to concerns over self-interest. e. Self-interest is one of several factors affecting opinions.
self-interest is a source of agreement in public opinion
Which of the following statements concerning the roles of ideology and partisanship in shaping public opinion is NOT true?
a. Much of the current division in American politics can be expressed in ideological or partisan terms.
b. Over the past few decades the relationship between the ideological beliefs of individuals and their partisanship has grown closer.
c. Most people filter their perceptions of reality through their ideological and partisan attitudes.
d. An ideology is a set of ideas about the world, whereas partisanship is an enduring allegiance to a party.
e. Most Americans are too moderate or nonpartisan for these concepts to have much influence on them.
most Americans are too moderate or nonpartisan for these concepts to have much influence on them
A citizen’s ability to hold democratic beliefs, including the acceptance that politics is about compromise, is called
democratic enlightenment
Which of the following statements concerning the relationship between gender and public opinion is NOT true?
a. Women now tend to vote at a slightly higher rate than men.
b. Men have become more conservative in recent years.
c. Women have become more liberal in the past thirty years.
d. Women are more likely than men to be Democrats.
e. The opinion gap between men and women is particularly large on issues involving violence.
women have become more liberal in the past thirty years
Which of the following statements is NOT true?
a. Women tend to vote at a higher rate than men.
b. Blacks are less likely than whites to favor Bible prayer in public schools.
c. Protestants are the only religious group whose members are more likely to be Republicans than Democrats.
d. Rural residents are the only ones among whom a majority favor a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
e. A majority of both blacks and whites favor capital punishment.
blacks are less likely than whites to favor Bible prayer in public schools
Rational ignorance refers to
the state of being uninformed about politics because the cost in time and energy does not produce tangible or measurable results
The process by which citizens take their political cues from more well-informed opinion leaders is known as
the two step flow of information
The role of public opinion in government today is strongly debated because
on one hand we want our opinions to be heard, on the other hand we don’t want politicians to blindly follow public opinion
Those who favor _____ democracy would be least likely to favor popular votes on national policy issues
an elite
The authors of the textbook argue that public opinion matters because
politicians and the media actually treat public opinion as if it matters
The authors of this textbook argue that Americans behave as ideal citizens as ___ although as a _____ they don’t
a group;individuals
If you are conducting a horse-race poll, you want your sample to comprise
likely voters
We can conclude from the history of polling that
polls are reliable only when they are timely and have been conducted using the proper procedures
Which of the following is NOT true regarding polling?
a. Sampling bias is not generally a problem that plagues pollsters.
b. A sample of 1,000 to 2,000 respondents can be very representative of the entire U.S. population.
c. How the question is worded can lead a person to give significantly different answers.
d. Few differences exist between those who choose to participate in polls and those who do not.
e. A poll that showed Candidate A with 48 percent of the vote and Candidate B with 45 percent of the vote, with a sampling error of 3 percent, means that we can be 95 percent sure that Candidate A is leading.
a poll that showed Candidate A with 48 percent of the vote and Candidate B with 45 percent of the vote, with a sampling error of 3 percent, means that we can be 95 percent sure that Candidate A is leading
If you are to be a critical watcher of polls, among the issues of concern are all of the following EXCEPT
a. whether the poll is representative.
b. whether the poll agrees with your position.
c. how the questions are worded.
d. who sponsored the poll.
e. what the results mean.
whether the poll agrees with your position
Which of the following statements concerning sampling bias is NOT true?
a. Pollsters are often unaware of the problem of sampling bias.
b. The chief source of sampling bias today is nonresponse.
c. Changing patterns of telephone technology and use are part of the reason for sampling bias today. d. Older women tend to be oversampled, whereas younger men tend to be undersampled.
e. Pollsters compensate for undersampling by the use of weighting.
Pollsters are often unaware of the problem of sampling bias
When the Chicago Tribune mistakenly declared that Dewey had defeated Truman in the 1948 presidential election, the paper had made the mistake of
not realizing that some people decide who to vote for right up to the day of an election
Public opinion pollsters will often ask respondents their opinions on very complex issues and public policies. Research indicates these questions are most likely used to
ask respondents to express an opinion about something they do not know
A survey question such as “Do you support or oppose being allowed to take the Life-time Learning Credit during years in which you pay for post-secondary education IRA?” is problematic because
it is likely that few people have thought about the issue
A survey question such as “How many times in the past few months have you used drugs?” is problematic because
The question is ambiguous and loaded
Good survey questions meet all of the following criteria EXCEPT
a. they are unambiguous.
b. they are always short.
c. they ask about subjects that people are familiar with and that they have thought about. d. they do not use loaded language.
e. they offer a reasonable number of choices.
they are always short
Tracking polls are significant because they
are able to catch daily changes in public opinion that other horse-race polls cannot
Which of the following statements concerning exit polls is NOT true?
a. They are used by the networks to declare winners in national elections.
b. They are a form of pseudo poll.
c. They are intended to provide information for analyzing the results of an election.
d. They are taken from people who have just voted.
e. They have a mixed record as a method for declaring who has won a state in a national election.
they are a form of pseudo poll
Internet polls are
unreliable
The authors conclude that, in general, the accuracy of election polls is
quite good
Which of the following statements concerning technology and polling is NOT true?
a. Telephone interviewing replaced in-person polling.
b. Robo polling is the replacement of people with computers.
c. Reliance on cell phones by citizens creates a challenge for pollsters.
d. Pollsters now create panels of citizens who regularly answer online questions.
e. Autodialing is one method of overcoming the problems caused by citizen reliance on cell phones.
Autodialing is one method of overcoming the problems caused by citizen reliance on cell phones
In general, which of the following statements is NOT true regarding whether Americans meet the criteria for being considered ideal democratic citizens?
a. Compared with other countries, the United States has quite high voter participation rates.
b. The more informed people are about politics, the more likely they are to be ideologically consistent.
c. Americans generally support rights such as free speech in the abstract but not when applied to certain controversial groups.
d. The older a person gets, the more likely he or she is to vote.
e. American citizens often cannot answer basic questions about their government.
Compared with other countries, the United States has quite high voter participation rates
Tolerance is a key democratic value because
it is a prerequisite for compromise
Self-interest is a source of
divisions in society
Education is a source of all the following except
a. socialization.
b. apathy.
c. democratic enlightenment.
d. democratic engagement.
e. tolerance.
Apathy
Major political and social events are an important source of socialization; therefore, all of the following statements are true EXCEPT
a. The media are an important source of socialization.
b. Different generations are likely to view politics somewhat differently.
c. Socialization does not exist since people learn politics from direct experience.
d. Divisive political events can cause trust in government to decline.
e. It is important to understand the major political and social events of the past.
socialization does not exist since people learn politics from direct experiences
55. Which of the following statements concerning the relationship between age and opinions is NOT true? a. People tend to become more politically engaged as they become middle aged and older.
b. Groups of citizens of the same age can be shaped by the same political events.
c. People tend to become more conservative as they age.
d. Young people are more likely to be influenced by current political trends.
e. As older generations die, overall opinions in the population change.
people tend to become more conservative as they age
The gender gap is especially large on issues of
violence
Which of the following is NOT true regarding religion?
a. Issues of concern to those who are religious generally do not involve dividing up the economic pie. b. Jews are strongly Democratic.
c. Catholics are less conservative than are Protestants.
d. Catholics are strongly Republican.
e. Seculars tend to be more supportive of abortion rights than are fundamentalists.
Catholics are strongly Republican
All of the following have great influence on public policy EXCEPT
a. the young.
b. opinion leader.
c. the wealthy.
d. the well educated.
e. those who vote.
the young
The collective decisions of citizens reflect a greater level of knowledge than public opinion polls reflect because of all of the following EXCEPT
a. on-line processing.
b. the desire to hide our real views from pollsters.
c. the two-step flow of communication.
d. reliance on opinion leaders.
e. we may have reasons for our opinions that we cannot articulate.
the desire to hide our real views from pollsters
The danger of majority tyranny in a democracy most likely would result from
majority rule without the tempering influence of debate and discussion
Pollsters use to the technique of _______ to compensate for underrepresentation of a group in a sample.
weighting
In recent years ideology has become a __________ important factor in creating political divisions in American society.
more
The process by which we learn our political orientations and allegiances is called _______.
political socialization
The process by which a majority opinion becomes exaggerated because minorities do not feel comfortable speaking out in opposition is called _______.
the spiral of silence
The state of being uninformed about politics because of the cost in time and energy is known as
rational ignorance

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