Article

Public Opinion

Patricia Moy

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online February 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0083
Public Opinion

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The communication scholar’s approach to the study of public opinion emphasizes the role that mass media and interpersonal discussion play in shaping people’s attitudes, behaviors, and cognitions. Recognizing how the communication of public opinion can affect how citizens feel and what they do regarding an issue, scholars are concerned with the accuracy, quantity, and overall quality of media reports of that issue. They also investigate how interacting with individuals can shape people’s attitudes and behaviors. Studies of public opinion examine how individuals, groups, organizations, and other entities respond to expressions of opinion, and they delineate the processes by which individual opinions shape public policy. By definition, then, public opinion research is concerned with phenomena at the micro, meso, and macro levels, and, regardless of the level of analysis, can be applied to understanding social and political issues in democratic and nondemocratic systems.

Article.  7664 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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