The Public Nature of Personal Opinion: The Impact of Collective Sentiment on Individual Appraisal

The Public Nature of Personal Opinion: The Impact of Collective Sentiment on Individual Appraisal This paper examines the impact of the public on individual opinion. Employing survey-based experiments, I demonstrate public influence to be considerable, yet the magnitude, direction, and significance of effect depends critically on the target of public sentiment and the political predispositions of the perceiver. A theoretical model is developed to delineate and examine such effects, guiding the analyses throughout. Central to this framework is the interplay between opinion context and individual, reflecting the often fluid and complex relationship between aggregate and individual judgment. The specific findings that representations of public opinion can alter the distribution of opinion through assimilation, contrast, or reinforcement are emphasized and given context within the voting and public opinion literature. Political Behavior Springer Journals

The Public Nature of Personal Opinion: The Impact of Collective Sentiment on Individual Appraisal

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1997 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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