ERIC Number: ED177064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Institutional Focus of Political Distrust.
Miller, Arthur H.
As a means of exploring public attitudes toward political institutions, the research analyzes theories explaining public trust and confidence in the president and the congress. Hypotheses examined include that there exists a connection between discontent with authorities and institutions, that certain groups in society (the young and socioeconomically disadvantaged, for example) do not share values reflected by government, and that the current lack of confidence in government merely expresses a low of popular support for present incumbents. Theories were evaluated in light of survey data collected from the University of Michigan's Center for Political Studies 1978 National Election Study. Included among findings are that discontent with actions and policies pursued by a series of leaders may eventually undermine respect for the political system, that the public feels that their representatives may be responsive but congress is not, and that there is a strong association between political distrust and support for severe tax cutting legislation. The conclusion is that there exists a predisposition among American citizens to accept massive changes in the structure of government. It is suggested that these changes may in the long run prove more detrimental than the immediate negative attitudes toward political institutions. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for delivery at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C., August 31-September 3, 1979)