New PDF release: Ambivalence and the Structure of Political Opinion

By S. Craig, M. Martinez

ISBN-10: 1349529079

ISBN-13: 9781349529070

ISBN-10: 140397909X

ISBN-13: 9781403979094

This ebook represents an incredible step in bringing jointly a variety of strands of analysis approximately attitudinal ambivalence and public opinion. Essays through a unusual workforce of political scientists and social psychologists offer a conceptual framework for figuring out how ambivalence is presently understood and measured, in addition to its relevance to the mass public's ideals approximately our political associations and nationwide identification. The theoretical insights, methodological options, and empirical analyses will upload considerably to our wisdom in regards to the nature of ambivalence particularly, and the constitution and evolution of political attitudes mostly.

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Extra info for Ambivalence and the Structure of Political Opinion

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Simply holding simultaneous positive and negative evaluations of an attitude object does not necessarily indicate that one is conflicted. If coexisting positive and negative evaluations do not always reflect ambivalence, then the claim that the dictionary definition presented earlier captures the central core of the concept becomes weaker still. Although one might subjectively label some attitudes held by a respondent or subject as both positive and negative, the individual may put little emotional investment behind those attitudes.

30 Albertson et al. Likewise, in our perspective ambivalence should reflect a specific choice or specific evaluation of the attitude object. It is not especially meaningful, in our understanding, to describe as ambivalent a respondent who experiences both positive and negative feelings not simultaneously but in seriatum, alternating between likes and dislikes about parties or candidates or policies. We therefore contend that the inferential approach to measuring ambivalence is better than its competitors: It has allowed us to document the effect of two policy areas simultaneously, and to demonstrate that additional information served both to make response variability increase and to demonstrably change the nature of choices made by respondents.

However, when half the public supports a policy which the other half opposes, such a division indicates a conflicted nation rather than a nation of conflicted individuals. Psychologists usually define ambivalence more narrowly. For Cacioppo and Berntson (1994), ambivalence is a state of simultaneous high positive and high negative evaluation of an attitude object. 1 People can hold a very positive evaluation and little in the way of negative feelings towards the same attitude object, or they could hold low negative and low positive feelings, or perhaps even high negative and high positive feelings simultaneously.

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Ambivalence and the Structure of Political Opinion by S. Craig, M. Martinez


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