ERIC Number: ED224731
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Polling and the Transformation of Public Opinion.
The use of polling is partly responsible for a change in the relationship between government and public opinion. There is a range of public opinion from little or no concern to very intense concern about an issue. Polls translate personal beliefs into collective public opinions, often losing the strong feelings at the one end and the moderate feelings at the other. The result is a poll which is supposedly representative of the general public, but which, in reality, may give a misleading picture of real concerns. When government officials view this poll data, they often concentrate on the middle range of feelings and interpret this as the public view on an issue. Officials thus feel less pressure from the public. Data from polls may also be used to modify the attitudes of those polled and those who read the polls; also to help predict negative attitudes before they are manifested in outward behavior, such as riots. (BY)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Opinion Polls; Poll (Influence)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Denver, CO, September 2-5, 1982).