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Social Factors and Public Opinion

Social Factors and Public Opinion

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Social Factors and Public Opinion

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  1. Social Factors and Public Opinion Michael Milburn Psychology 335

  2. Why would you expect differences on social grouping variables? • For example, age, gender, education, income, race • Age: • Growth (maturation) • Living a different times/having different experiences (cohort effect) • Gender: differential socialization (Fivush) • Education/Income • Different opportunities/interact with different people • Different interests • Different expectations in life • Race • Different opportunities/experiences/interactions • O.J. Simpson case—National Jury Project

  3. Examining Relationships between Demographic Variables and Public Opinion • Create contingency table of responses • Raw counts in each cell of the table • Percentage across levels of the dependent variable • Identify the causal model • DV: Typically the opinion variable

  4. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 25 20 15 20 25 30

  5. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 25 20 15 20 25 30 Question: What is the DV?

  6. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 25 20 15 20 25 30 Opinion is DV, so calculate row percentages

  7. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 60 75 25 20 15 20 25 30 Step 1: calculate row totals

  8. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 60 75 25/60 20/60 15/60 20/75 25/75 30/75 Step 2: divide by row totals

  9. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 42% 33% 25% 27% 33% 40% 100% 100% Step 3: calculate percents

  10. “Do you agree that we should have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?” N = 135 Yes Maybe No Old Young 42% 33% 25% 27% 33% 40% 100% 100% Question: Are proportions the same? Do the same percentage of old and young people agree?

  11. National Election Survey (NES) Data--Examples • Focus on the ideological (Liberal-Conservative) aspect of the relationships among the variables

  12. Historical Relationships

  13. Further examples • Opinion questions answered on a 1 to 7 scale • I grouped together responses (1-2), (3,4,5), and (6-7) into three columns

  14. 1988 NES Data

  15. More 1988 Data

  16. A final 1988 question

  17. Summary • Different domains of opinion • Foreign policy/economic/social issues • For the relationship of income/education: • FP: no relationship • Economic: more conservative as income/education increase • Social: more liberal as income/education increase