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PSCI 1050 Exam 1


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Four functions of government
1. protect citizens from unlawful activity
2. defend the country from foreign aggressors
3. regulate social and economic relations
4. provide services

supreme power held by a single person
absolute power exercised by one person or a dictator
a government ruled by the elite or upper class, the aristocrats
government by the few
system in which governmental power is widely shared among the citizens, usually through free and open elections
direct democracy
ordinary people are the government and making all laws themselves
representative democracy
form of indirect democracy, in which the people choose representatives
national elections
every 2 years we vote for senators and H of R

every 4 years we vote for president

state elections include voting for...
governor, state legislature, lieutenant governor, treasurer, and state's attorney general
local elections
mayor and such
primary election
preliminary election that narrows the number of candidates by determining who will be the party nominees in the general election
general election
final election that selects the office holder
proposed laws or state constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by citizen petition
proposed laws or state constitutional amendment that is proposed by a legislature or city council but does not go into effect unless the required majority of voters approve it
the permanent campaign
line between campaigning and governing has disappeared. governing becomes campaign strategy. public officials may sacrifice long-term good for short-term electoral advantage
act or represent for another person or others
a person appointed to administer over others
classical liberalism
a philosophy that elevates and empowers the individual as opposed to religious, heredity, governmental, or other forms of authority

-"hands off" policy

-gov should have limited involvement in econ and civil affairs

civic republicanism
a political philosophy that emphasizes the obligation of citizens to act virtuously in pursuit of the common good

-emphasize civic virtues, participation, and the public interest rather than private interests

american individualism
-focus on the effort and moral worth of the individual
-major component of classical liberalism
-belief in individual achievement and responsibility is not closely tied with the actual social and economic circumstances that Americans find themselves in, rich or poor
-some argue individualistic values have undermined efforts to address poverty through public policy

equality of opportunity
equal chance to advance
equality of condition
all individuals have a right to a more or less equal part of the material foods that society produces
immigration act of 1965
-congress abandoned national-quotas system
-latin american and west indies immigrants increased
-growth in asian immigrants

political socialization
processes that work to instill certain beliefs and values into individuals. done through families, religious organizations, and other affiliations.
what American value stresses the importance of participation in the political process for the benefit of the community rather than the individual?
civic republicanism
what is public opinion?
the aggregation of people's views about issues, situations, and public figures
sources of public opinion
group attachments, the media, personal experience, education, and self interest
ways of measuring public opinion
surveys and polls
cross-sectional polls
poll that determines opinion at one time point
push poll
poll that spreads negative information about an opposing candidate
tracking poll
poll conducted periodically to track opinion over time
exit poll
conducted at polls during election days to determine winner
measurement error
the error within a study that prevents the observed attitude or opinion from being a true reflection of attitudes and opinions
what is a great example of the problem of question wording?
the American Jewish Committee survey on beliefs about the Jewish holocaust
random sampling
every person in sample has an equal probability of selection
stratified random sampling
randomly sampling within particular groups
sampling error
error arising in a public opinion survey when relying on a randomly selected, but small, sample of the larger population
margin of error
the amount of error attributed to any poll estimate. generally, the larger the sample, the smaller the margin of error
selection bias
the error that occurs when a sample systematically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes
literary digest poll of 1936
incorrectly predicted outcome of 1936 election
landslide for FDR
1948 gallup poll
emerged due to ability to correctly predict 1936 presidential race. gallup predicted the 1948 presidental election incorrectly. predicted dewey would defeat truman
what is an example of a tracking poll?
approcal rating for obama increasing over the last three months
issue publics
group of people particularly affected by, or concerned with, a specific issue
a system of beliefs in which one or more organizing principles connect the individual's views on a wide range of issues
mass public
ordinary citizens for whom political involvement is limited
political elites
tend to have ideologies that are well-structured
public opinion is...
power of public opinion
-sometimes accurate
-more stable than individuals
-clear trends often followed by government
-can be influential

interest group
an organization or association that pursues the interests of its members by engaging in the political process
interest group: membership groups
individuals make voluntary contributions
interest groups: trade assciations
members pay regular dues
free rider problem
when people can enjoy the benefits of group activity without bearing any of the costs
public goods
goods that you can enjoy without contributing, by free-riding on the efforts of those who do
private goods
goods that you must purchase to enjoy, and your consumption of which means that others cannot consume them
social pressure or force to make people join in a collective effort
social movements
broad-based demand for government action on some problem or issue
increasing perceived impact
groups may reformulate their appeals in order to suggest that even small contributions have a concrete impact
selective benefits
side benefits of belonging to an organization that is limited to contributing members of the organization
political entrpreneurs
people willing to assume that costs of forming and maintaining an organization even when others may free-ride on them
direct lobbying
lobbying: interest group activities intended to influence directly the decisions that public officials make

lobbyist: someone who engages in lobbying

grassroots lobbying
influence elected officials indirectly by mobilizing their constituents
grass-top lobbying
an interest group makes an ad featuring a prominent local personality then plays the ad in the member's district
political actin committees
specialized organizations for raising and contributing campaign funds. give instrumentally: donating to the members of key committees regardless of party
issue advocacy
advertising campaigns that attempt to influence public opinion on an issue
direct action
involves everything from peaceful sit-ins and demonstrations to riots and even rebellion
involves carrying out a legal strategy to utilize court decisions to support the interest groups goals
iron triangles
alliance of a congressional committee, the executive agency, and interest groups
issue networks
a loose constellation of larger numbers of committees, agencies,, interest groups, and policy experts active in a particular policy area
school of thought holding that politics is the clash of groups that represent all important interests in society and that check and balance each other
electoral system
a means of translating popular votes into control of public offices
two-party system
system in which only two major parties compete for office
multi-party system
system in which several major parties compete for office, most democracies have this
single-member, simple plurality system (SMSP)
electoral system in which the country is divided into geographic districts, and the candidates who win the most votes within their districts are elected
proportional representation (PR)
electoral system in which parties receive a share of seats in parliament that is proportional to the popular vote they receive
duverger's law
plurality systems tend to lead two-party systems
party politics in texas
republicans have advantage
latino is 1/3 population
media biases
-ideological bias, spin (certain points of view)
-selection bias
-professional bias
(rely on insiders)

equal time rule
offer equal time to both candidates
agenda setting
occurs when the media affect which issues and problems people think about, even if the media do not determine what positions people adopt
occurs when the media alter the standards people use to evaluate political figures
occurs when the media induce people to think about an issue along particular lines, as opposed to others

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