1. What percentage of Americans disagreed with the statement “The First Amendment goes too far”?
a. 35 percent
b. 55 percent
c. 70 percent
d. 92 percent
2. The various attitudes that citizens possess toward political issues, events, and people are called
a. public opinions.
b. political values.
c. public ideologies.
d. political propaganda
3. A political ideology is best defined as
a. the specific preferences individuals contemplate while discussing an issue.
b. the basic principles that shape particular attitudes.
c. a cohesive set of beliefs that form a general philosophy about the government.
d. the concrete interests that people try to defend through public policy
4. Liberalism and conservatism are good examples of
a. public opinions.
b. political attitudes.
c. political ideologies.
d. political interests
5. Which of the following terms describe America’s fundamental political values?
a. liberal and conservative
b. Republican and Democrat
c. internationalist and isolationist
d. liberty, equality, and democracy
6. The term public opinion is used to describe
a. the president’s collected speeches and writings during his term in office.
b. the analysis of events broadcasted by reporters during the evening news.
c. people’s beliefs and attitudes toward different issues.
d. the U.S Supreme Court’s decisions.
7. The complex set of beliefs and values that, as a whole, form a general philosophy about the government
is called
a. public opinion.
b. political ideology.
c. political socialization.
d. political efficacy
8. Fundamental political values
a. unify Americans around a common set of goals for the government.
b. divide those Americans who are in sharp disagreement over political values.
c. are vague and nearly useless during political debates.
d. are unknown in the United States because of the nation’s diversity.
9. Freedom from governmental control is what most Americans call
a. anarchy.
b. democracy.
c. liberty.
d. equality
10. Which of the following causes differences in political opinions?
a. race
b. income
c. education
d. all of the above
11. Which of the following is not an important agency of socialization?
a. family
b. membership in social groups
c. education
d. All of the above are important agencies of socialization
12. Which of the following most likely caused differences between African Americans and white Americans
in terms of their views on the O. J. Simpson trial?
a. The opinions of the two groups did not, in fact, differ much.
b. The two groups hold different political values.
c. The two groups have different perspectives of and experiences with the criminal
justice system.
d. The two groups have different levels of sports appreciation.
13. The term gender gap refers to
a. differences in voting behavior between men and women.
b. differences in income and education levels for men and women.
c. differing levels of political participation between the genders.
d. differences in fundamental political values held by men and women.
14. Which of the following phenomena cannot be explained by the gender gap?
a. More women than men vote for Democrats.
b. More women than men tend to favor government measures to protect the
c. Men are more likely to join political parties and other social organizations.
d. Men are more militaristic on issues of war and peace than women
15. Why are groups and associations so critical to the formation of political opinions?
a. Individuals often consciously or unconsciously adopt the views of groups they
identify with.
b. Individuals are unable to formulate opinions without the support of others who
agree with them.
c. Groups and associations are essential for publicizing the people’s opinions.
d. Groups provide a means of changing opinions individuals have previously
derived from their families.
16. What did James Madison identify as the greatest source of political conflict for the United States?
a. racial inequalities
b. geographic differences
c. differences between the rich and the poor
d. conflicts between central and local governments
17. What is the key difference between those who have gone to college and those who have not?
a. Those with a college education are more liberal.
b. Those who have gone to college are typically more conservative than those who
have not.
c. There is a higher level of political participation among those with a college
d. College graduates are less likely to hold mainstream American values compared
to people without a higher level of education.
18. A liberal would most likely support
a. an expansion in government social services.
b. an increase in the federal military budget.
c. prayer in public schools.
d. all of the above
19. Opposition to legalized abortion is a position most likely supported by
a. liberals.
b. conservatives.
c. Libertarid. B and C.
20. In a liberal ideology, which of the core American values is most important?
a. liberty
b. democracy
c. equality
d. justice
21. __________ is the core political value most highly prized by American conservatives.
a. Democracy
b. Liberty
c. Equali Family
22. Conservatives are more likely than liberals to support
a. the military.
b. the status quo.
c. the traditional family.
d. all of the above.
23. One who supports abortion and opposes state involvement with religious institutions would be described
as a(n)
a. liberal.
b. conservative.
c. socialist.
d. internationalist
24. Studies of political opinion show that
a. most people do not hold specific and clearly defined opinions on all political
b. people’s ideologies guide them toward formulating an opinion on almost all
political issues.
c. people understand their keen interests with or without political knowledge.
d. most Americans are ardently concerned with how their government works.
25. Recent studies by political scientists have shown that
a. Americans’ knowledge of politics is generally high.
b. the average American exhibits little knowledge about political institutions,
processes, or leaders.
c. there is little connection between possessing political knowledge and being an
effective citizen.
d. it is often difficult for people seeking knowledge about the government to actually
find such information.
26. While an individual’s underlying beliefs help shape his opinions on particular issues, two other important
factors are
a. one’s knowledge of political issues and the outside influences affecting that
person’s views.
b. the relative popularity of liberalism and conservatism, along with one’s
ideological history.
c. the state of the economy and whether the United States is at war.
d. the wording of public opinion poll questions and the illusion of saliency
27. Which of the following is not true?
a. Knowledge of politics increases one’s sense of political efficacy.
b. Knowledgeable citizens are better able to recognize their political interests and
act consistently on behalf of them.
c. People with higher education, income, and occupational status are more likely to
be both familiar with and active in politics.
d. Others cannot influences people’s ideas and beliefs
28. The ability of citizens to influence their government through an awareness and interest in politics is
a. political saliency.
b. core American values.
c. political efficacy.
d. the status quo effect
29. The concept of a marketplace of ideas refers to
a. important changes in copyright and patent laws that have restricted Americans’
access to free information.
b. the competition between varying opinions and ideas that are aired in public
c. the use of opinion pollsters who market a politician’s speeches, ideas, and votes.
d. the explosion of information brought on by the Internet and other advances in
electronic communication
30. Why does the marketplace of ideas often have a moderating effect on people’s opinions?
a. Given constant exposure to other people’s ideas, it is almost impossible for one
not to modify one’s own viewpoints.
b. Moderate ideas usually have the best financial backing, and the greatest publicity.
c. The most popular ideas are usually the most moderate ones.
d. Those who shop in the marketplace of ideas typically start with moderate
31. The marketplace of ideas has led to
a. a sharp decline in knowledge among those too poor to purchase their information.
b. a common ground on which Americans can debate and influence each other’s
c. a vulgar and often violent culture of argument, which may require government
regulation to keep peace.
d. the rise of large centralized multimedia corporations
32. Which of the following, concerning the marketplace of ideas, is true?
a. The English created the marketplace of ideas in the seventeenth century.
b. Very few ideas emerge in the marketplace spontaneously.
c. The marketplace of ideas involves political controversies, but not scientific or
religious ones.
d. Only since the 1960s has the First Amendment been interpreted as a protective
force for the marketplace of ideas
33. Which of the following shapes public opinion?
a. the government
b. private groups
c. the news media
d. all of the above
34. New ideas are generally presented to the American people as
a. novel solutions to unfamiliar problems.
b. the product of scientific research conducted by universities and think tanks.
c. the logical outgrowth of fundamental beliefs.
d. all of the above
35. Which of the following best characterizes the relationship between the Clinton White House and public
opinion polls?
a. Clinton relied heavily on public opinion polling to determine which positions to
b. Positions taken by the Clinton White House were usually defined by the
president’s competition with Congress.
c. Clinton used public opinion data sparingly, preferring to take his cues from the
use of elite media organizations.
d. The Clinton White House depended on advice from both interest groups and the
Democratic Party in order to build successful strategies.
36. Which of the following has not been part of the Bush administration’s effort to maintain support for its
war on terror?
a. presidential speeches
b. press conferences
c. donations to academic institutions
d. press releases
37. Each of the following is a liberal organization except
a. the Sierra Club.
b. the National Organization for Women.
c. Physicians for Social Responsibility.
d. the Chamber of Commerce
38. A frequent cause of measurement error in polls is due to
a. unresponsiveness.
b. poorly worded questions.
c. push polling.
d. the increased use of cell phones
39. The famous Lincoln-Douglas debates took place
a. through a series of competing newspaper editorials.
b. on television, making it the first political broadcast in the United States.
c. outside, in the cornfields and town squares of Illinois.
d. in Madison Square Garden during the Republican Convention of 1860
40. Which statement about public opinion polls is not true?
a. Polling is an attempt to make gathering opinions more scientific.
b. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were the first politicians to use public
opinion polls.
c. Polling is a way for politicians to experience public opinion in a large modern
d. Politicians use polls in order to help them make decisions and gauge the reaction
to decisions they have already made
41. The small group selected by pollsters to represent the entire population is called the
a. validity quotient.
b. sample.
c. quota.
d. hypothesis
42. When pollsters are given a list of people to be surveyed, this list is called the
a. sampling frame.
b. push poll.
c. selection bias.
d. guinea pigs
43. In 1936, pollsters at the Literary Digest were guilty of __________ when they mistakenly predicted a
presidential victory of Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt by polling people whose names came from
the telephone book and automobile registration records.
a. probability sampling
b. illusion of salience
c. random dialing
d. selection bias
44. The failure of major pollsters to predict Jesse Ventura’s 1998 victory in Minnesota’s gubernatorial
election demonstrates that
a. pollsters placed too much emphasis on the two major parties’ candidates.
b. researchers polled only people who had voted before, ignoring potential new
c. poll takers believed that voters would actually show up to vote if they said they
d. the wording of the polls overemphasized Ventura’s past career in wrestling.
45. The typical margin of error in a sample survey of 1,500 respondents is
a. 0.1 percent.
b. 0.5 percent.
c. 3 percent.
d. 10 percent.
46. The practice of push polling involves
a. polling services like Harris and Gallup attempting to sell their polling data to
major news media at higher prices during election seasons.
b. the system of calling people during dinner and evening hours to assure that as
many people as possible will be home.
c. the procedure of asking loaded questions in order to subtly shape the respondent’s
d. the effect of polls having to push politicians into adopting policy proposals they
would not otherwise adopt.
47. When politicians using polling data emphasize issues that polls have given more importance than
necessary they have fallen for the
a. “bounce” effect.
b. illusion of central tendency.
c. illusion of saliency.
d. bellwether effect.
48. Which of the following is not a reason for why there may be a lack of consistency between public
opinion and government policy?
a. The structure of the Constitution was designed to provide checks to popular
b. Minority rights and limits placed on the judiciary may often set boundaries for
majority rule.
c. Public opinion is never clear enough to provide concrete policy goals.
d. An intensely committed minority may trump a majority preference that is weakly
49. What is an initiative?
a. The set of questions asked in a public opinion survey.
b. A procedure that allows for laws to be placed on a ballot and voted on by the
c. The policy proposals that stem directly from one’s political ideologies.
d. A bill submitted to Congress before it becomes a law.
50. An important reason for why public policy and public opinion may not coincide in the United States is
a. the American system of government includes arrangements, such as an appointed
judiciary, which may produce policy decisions that run contrary to prevailing
popular sentiment.
b. the American system of government was not designed to account for public
c. the American system of government was designed to account for the elite’s needs
and demands.
d. American society fears a “tyranny of the majority.”

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