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ERIC Number: ED157116
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Pages: 40
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Political Attitudes, Political Activity, and Communication: A Typal Analysis.
Atwood, L. Erwin; Jarvis, Dennis
Persuasive mass communication is believed to be more likely to reinforce existing opinions than to change them. This study set out to test this hypothesis in the political area by doing the following: isolating attitudinal patterns in a sample of voters; determining if characteristics of the questionnaire statements were systematically related to acceptance or rejection of the statements; and testing the ability of other communication and political variables to discriminate among the attitude types. Q-analysis of the responses of 245 registered voters to 53 opinion statements yielded five basic patterns of response. Four of the five patterns were characterized by either systematic agreement or systematic disagreement with at least one of the five opinion dimensions the statements were designed to represent. One of the five patterns focused on national and state election issues; three focused on rejection of dimensions not normally considered election issues; and one attitude pattern could not be described in terms of the five dimensions. Results also indicate that a minority of the subjects (19%) are "issue voters," and that traditional issues (war, crime, welfare, taxes, and cost of living) do not function as issues for the majority of voters. (References and tabular data are included.) (Author/DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Chicago, Illinois, April 25-29, 1978)