Book American Public Opinion tenth edition

by Robert S. Erikson and Kent L. Tedin

Chapter 3 Critical thinking

1. Many people are ill-informed and uninterested in politics. Is this a problem for assessing public opinion?

2. It is often said that American have become increasingly polarized in their political opinions as they divide more into liberal Democrat versus conservative Republican camps. Would it be better for democracy if American were not so divided along ideological lines?

3. When people are interview at two different points at times, they often give different answers to same survey questions. What are the implications of this inconsistency for understanding public opinion?

Chapter 4 Critical thinking

1. There has been a lot of polling on a wide range of issues over many years. so can we gauge the public as getting either more liberal or more conservative over time? Why is answering this question complicated?

2. Assessing whites attitudes toward African-American is complicated by such factors as social desirability. How might these measurement problems be overcome? Can we really know the know the public’s opinions on matters involving race?

3. To what extent do you think a president’s popularity as measured in the polls will match the conclusions of future historians?

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