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Week 3 - Party ID, the Media, and Public Opinion

Section Objectives

  • Explain and utilize a causal inference framework to construct, discuss, and critically analyze research arguments.
  • Define party identification, and the social factors that influence it, using research literature and conceptual examples
  • Analyze the core findings of Bullock (2011), and link it to theories that suggest attitudes and opinions are more impactful than party.
  • Analyze Druckman, et al (2013), and link it to theories that suggest party idenfitication is more impactful than attitudes and opinions.
  • Define media effects, and the key terms related to it, using research literature and conceptual examples.
  • Discuss Chapter 8, Iyengar and McGrady (2011), specifically focusing on media effects and arguments for and against their existence.

Key Terms and Concepts

  • Agenda Setting
  • Framing
  • Funnel Theory of Party I.D.
  • Heuristics
  • Media Effects
  • Motivated Reasoning
  • Party Cue
  • Party Identification
  • Priming
  • Retrospective Voting
  • "Running Tally"
  • Socialization
  • Theory of Maximal Consequences of Media
  • Theory of Minimal Consequences of Media

Section Slides

**See attached .pdf file.

Summaries of Selected Weekly Readings

Author Puzzle Hypothesis Dependent Variable Independent Variable(s)
Iyengar & McGrady (2011)

Can media influence a citizen’s view and policy opinion? If so, how?

 

Minimal Consequences:

Media presentations do not have a profound impact on public opinion. Voters use retrospective voting, previous preferences, and information instead.

Voter Public Opinion and Attitudes  Running Tally, Preferences, Context
Iyengar & McGrady (2011)

Can media influence a citizen’s view and policy opinion? If so, how?

Maximum Consequences:

Public opinion is sensitive to media discussion. Argues agenda-setting, priming, framing, and filtering influence voter sentiment.

Voter Public Opinion and Attitudes  Media: Agenda Setting, Issue Salience, Exposure to Topics
Bullock (2011)

  How do party cues and policy information influence voters? What are the differences between them?

  Party positions impact voters less than policy information.

Voter Public Opinion and Attitudes  Party Positions, and Policy Information
Druckman, et al (2013)

 Has elite polarization changed how citizens arrive at policy opinions?

 Partisans will support a frame sponsored by their party at a greater rate.

Voter Public Opinion and Attitudes  Partisanship, Party Positions