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    The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (CAMBRIDGE STUDIES IN PUBLIC OPINION AND POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY) (Paperback) By (author) John R. Zaller

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    DescriptionIn this 1992 book John Zaller develops a comprehensive theory to explain how people acquire political information from elites and the mass media and convert it into political preferences. Using numerous specific examples, Zaller applies this theory to the dynamics of public opinion on a broad range of subjects, including domestic and foreign policy, trust in government, racial equality, and presidential approval, as well as voting behaviour in U.S. House, Senate, and presidential elections. The thoery is constructed from four basic premises. The first is that individuals differ substantially in their attention to politics and therefore in their exposure to elite sources of political information. The second is that people react critically to political communication only to the extent that they are knowledgeable about political affairs. The third is that people rarely have fixed attitudes on specific issues; rather, they construct 'preference statements' on the fly as they confront each issue raised. The fourth is that, in constructing these statements, people make the greatest use of ideas that are, for various reasons, the most immediately salient to them. Zaller emphasizes the role of political elites in establishing the terms of political discourse in the mass media and the powerful effect of this framing of issues on the dynamics of mass opinion on any given issue over time.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion

    The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) John R. Zaller
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 382
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 228 mm
    Thickness: 22 mm
    Weight: 560 g
    ISBN 13: 9780521407861
    ISBN 10: 0521407869

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 27430
    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Book Type: NF
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.0
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Theme: APPR/CLASSA
    BIC subject category V2: JH
    Libri: I-PL
    BISAC V2.8: SOC000000
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    B&T General Subject: 650
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    DC22: 303.3/8
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: JPVK
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: POL000000
    LC subject heading:
    DC20: 303.38
    B&T Approval Code: A34450000
    DC22: 303.38
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: HM261 .Z35 1992
    Thema V1.0: JPWA, JH
    Edition statement
    Illustrations note
    45 line drawings, 37 tables
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    01 September 1992
    Publication City/Country
    Review quote
    'Zaller's volume is a giant step forward int he development of a systematic understanding of the dynamics of public opinion ... This is a splendid contribution.' Philip E. Converse, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences 'A model of what social science can be at its finest, The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion reshapes the field in ways that will reverberate throughout the study of public opinion, elections, and the relationship between elites and the mass public for decades.' John Aldrich, Duke University 'Zaller's book is the most significant contribution to the scientific study of public opinion in alomost three decades.' Larry Bartels, Princeton University
    Table of contents
    List of tables and figures; Preface; 1. Introduction: the fragmented state of opinion research; 2. Information, predispositions, and opinion; 3. How citizens acquire information and convert it into public opinion; 4. Coming to terms with response instability; 5. Making it up as you go along; 6. The mainstream and polarization effects; 7. Basic processes of 'attitude change'; 8. Tests of the one-message model; 9. Two-sided information flows; 10. Information flow and electoral choice; 11. Evaluating the model and looking toward future research; 12. Epilogue: the question of elite domination of public opinion; Measures appendix; References; Index.