Advertisement

Political Behavior

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 53–72 | Cite as

Education and mass belief systems: An extension and some new questions

  • Stephen Earl Bennett
  • Robert Oldendick
  • Alfred J. Tuchfarber
  • George F. Bishop
Article

Abstract

Using the SRC/CPS's national election surveys from 1956 to 1976, this paper investigates the effect of education on consistency among the public's domestic policy opinions. Evidence from both gamma correlations and factor analysis indicates that education has neither a strong nor a linear effect on issue constraint over the 20 years covered by the data, for the lowest and the highest education strata consistently show the highest levels of constraint. We do not conclude, however, that education is unrelated to recognition of ideological concepts, for almost one-half of the lowest education stratum do not use “liberal” and “conservative” terms. We conclude that issue constraint does not directly translate into ideology and suggest some new directions that future research should take if we are to evaluate effectively the effect of education on opinion structuring.

Keywords

High Education Lower Education Belief System Linear Effect Policy Opinion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achen, C. Issue voting: what counts as evidence? unpublished work, January, 1978.Google Scholar
  2. Almond, G., and Verba, S.The civic culture (rev. ed.). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. Barnes, S. H. Ideology and the organization of conflict: on the relationship between political thought and behavior.Journal of Politics, 1966,28 (August), 513–530.Google Scholar
  4. Barton, A. H., and Parsons, R. W. Measuring belief system structure.Public Opinion Quarterly, 41, (Summer), 159–180.Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, S. E. Consistency among the public's social welfare policy attitudes in the 1960s.American Journal of Political Science, 17 (August), 1973, 544–570.Google Scholar
  6. Bishop, G. F. The effect of education on ideological consistency.Public Opinion Quarterly, 1976,40 (Fall), 337–348.Google Scholar
  7. Bishop, G. F. et al. The changing structure of mass belief systems: fact or artifact?Journal of Politics (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  8. Bruner, J. What's the question to that answer? measures and marginals in crosstabulation.American Journal of Political Science, 1976,20 (November), 781–804.Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, A. et al.The American voter. New York: Wiley, 1960.Google Scholar
  10. Converse, P. E. The nature of belief systems in mass publics. In D. E. Apter (Ed.),Ideology and discontent. New York: Free Press, 1964, pp. 206–261.Google Scholar
  11. Converse, P. E. Attitudes and non-attitudes: continuation of a dialogue. In E. R. Tufte (Ed.),The quantitative analysis of social problems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1970, pp. 168–189.Google Scholar
  12. Converse, P. E. Change in the American electorate. In A. Campbell and P. E. Converse (Eds.),The human meaning of social change. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1972, pp. 263–337.Google Scholar
  13. Converse, P. E. Comment: the status of non-attitudes.American Political Science Review, 1974,68 (June), 650–660. (a)Google Scholar
  14. Converse, P. E. Some priority variables in comparative electoral research. In R. Rose (Ed.),Electoral behavior: a comparative handbook. New York: Free Press, 1974, pp. 727–745. (b)Google Scholar
  15. Converse, P. E. Public opinion and voting behavior. In Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby (Eds.),Handbook of political science (8 vols.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975, Vol. 4, pp. 75–169.Google Scholar
  16. Key, V. O., Jr.Public opinion and American democracy. New York: Knopf, 1961.Google Scholar
  17. Kirkpatrick, S. A. Aging effects and generational differences in social welfare attitude constraint in the mass public.Western Political Quarterly, 1976,29 (March), 43–58.Google Scholar
  18. Lane, R. E.Political ideology. New York: Free Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  19. Lane, R. E. Patterns of political belief. In J. N. Knutson (Ed.),Handbook of political psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1973, pp. 83–116.Google Scholar
  20. Luttbeg, N. R. The structure of beliefs among leaders and the public.Public Opinion Quarterly, 1968,32 (Fall), 398–409.Google Scholar
  21. Milbrath, L. W., and Goel, M. L.Political participation (2nd ed.). Chicago: Rand McNally, 1977.Google Scholar
  22. Miller, A. et al. A majority party in disarray: policy polarization in the 1972 election.American Political Science Review, 1976,70 (September), 753–778.Google Scholar
  23. Miller, A., and Miller, W. E. Ideology in the 1972 election: myth or reality—a rejoinder.American Political Science Review, 1976,70 (September), 832–849.Google Scholar
  24. Nie, N. H., with Andersen, K. Mass belief systems revisited: political change and attitude structure.Journal of Politics, 1974,36 (August), 540–591.Google Scholar
  25. Oldendick, R. The correlates and behavioral consequences of attitudinal consistency in the mass public. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of Cincinnati.Google Scholar
  26. Pierce, J. C., and Rose, D. D. Nonattitudes and American public opinion: the examination of a thesis.American Political Science Review, 1974,68 (June), 626–650.Google Scholar
  27. RePass, D. E. 1976. Comment: political methodologies in disarray: some alternative interpretations of the 1972 election.American Political Science Review, 1976,70 (September), 814–832.Google Scholar
  28. Scammon, R., and Wattenberg, B. J.The real majority (rev. ed.). New York: Coward, McCann, 1971.Google Scholar
  29. Stimson, J. A. Belief systems: constraint, complexity, and the 1972 election.American Journal of Political Science, 1975,19 (August), 393–417.Google Scholar
  30. Weissberg, R. Consensual attitudes and attitude structure.Public Opinion Quarterly, 1976,40 (Fall), 349–359.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Earl Bennett
    • 1
  • Robert Oldendick
    • 2
  • Alfred J. Tuchfarber
    • 2
  • George F. Bishop
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Behavioral Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations