About This Chapter
Political Culture, Public Opinion & Civic Behavior - Chapter Summary
Through this chapter's short video lessons, knowledgeable instructors will explain America's political environment and how it has evolved over time. You'll learn about topics like public opinion, political socialization, voting costs and political change. Each lesson comes with a short quiz, and the chapter concludes with a comprehensive multiple-choice exam. If you need any extra help with the material, you can submit questions to our instructors online. After you've worked your way through this chapter, you should be equipped to:
- Recognize the characteristics of American political culture
- Define the concepts of public opinion and political socialization
- Explain how public opinion is measured
- Describe the process of polling the attentive public
- Identify opinion leaders and determine why they matter
- Assess voting benefits and costs
- Recognize common factors that influence voters in a presidential election
- Compare types of political change
1. What is American Political Culture?
The American political culture is a system of shared political traditions, customs, beliefs and values. This lesson discusses the characteristics of America's political culture and the factors that help shape it.
2. What is Public Opinion?
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the concept of public opinion and explores influences on public opinion.
3. What is Political Socialization?
Political socialization is the process by which people form their ideas about politics. This lesson explains political socialization and discusses the means through which Americans form their political values.
4. The Measurement of Public Opinion
Public opinion is an expression of the general population's thoughts on a particular political issue. This lesson discusses the measurement of public opinion, including the development and use of opinion polling.
5. Polling the Attentive Public
The following lesson focuses on a specific group of people that stay educated on complex political issues. You'll learn who they are and why their opinion matters to policy makers and officials running for public office.
6. Opinion Leaders: Who Are They & Why Do They Matter?
The following lesson will discuss how individuals known as opinion leaders shape the public's perceptions on complex issues, such as politics. There will be a short quiz following the lesson to check your understanding.
7. Voting: Costs and Benefits
In a country as large as the United States, it's highly unlikely that one person's vote will decide the outcome of a presidential election. Does this mean the costs of voting outweigh the benefits? This lesson explores this question.
8. Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections
Many factors influence voters during presidential elections. The voter's background, party identification and view of the government's past performance are some of the important influences. This lesson examines influences on voter behavior.
9. Political Change: Definition, Purpose & Types
The following lesson discusses how political change is a powerful force in politics. Some key types of political change are also discussed. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
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Other chapters within the Political Science 101: Intro to Political Science course
- Basic Terms and Concepts of Political Science
- Political Ideologies and Philosophy
- Forms of Government
- Electoral Systems
- The Branches of Government
- US Federal Bureaucracy
- The History & Role of Political Parties
- Interest Groups in Politics
- Mass Media and Politics
- Public and Social Policy
- Fiscal Policy in Government & the Economy
- Foreign Policy, Defense Policy & Government
- Concepts of International Relations
- Theories of International Relations
- International Actors in Political Science
- International Law in Politics
- Global Issues and Politics
- Studying for Political Science 101