Archive for February, 2010

Austin & Pinkleton: Questionnaire Design
In Austin and Pinkleton’s chapter on designing questionnaires, they state that there are several important issues to keep in mind while creating questionnaires and to follow are the issues along with a brief summary of each:
• Validity and reliability concerns as they relate to the sample, the topic, and the client.
o Validity: a convincing way to represent an idea. Can be agreed upon apparently by persuasion.
o Reliability: has consistency, can be replicated with some/similar results
• Levels of measurement and why they matter
o Nominal: names or categories of things. Mutually exclusive and exhaustive
o Ordinal: some meaningful order (ranking). Mutually exclusive, exhaustive, and ordered.
o Interval: equal interval scales. Mutually exclusive, exhaustive and ordered in equal intervals.
o Ration: a ratio scale with a true zero, real numbers not symbols
• Ways to ensure clarity and avoid bias
o Use simple & familiar words
o Precision – clear answers
o 1 issue per question
o No leading or loaded questions
o Refrain from social desirable questions/answers
o Provide enough context
• Types of questions how the information each type provides differs
• Questionnaire layout and design to ensure logical flow and visual clarity
Spears & Singh: Measuring Attitude Toward the Brand and Purchase Intentions + Polls and the Science of Public Opinion
Spears and Singh talk about three variables useful in predicting consumer behavior; Ab, PI and Aad. Ab is the attitude toward the brand or “an individual’s internal evaluation of the brand.” PI stands for Purchase Intentions or “an individual’s conscious plan to make an effort to purchase a brand.” Aad is “a person’s favorable or unfavorable evaluation of an ad.” They used these variables as ratings to six different brands in ads that subjects would evaluate. They used this study to show the shortcomings in developing valid measures cant be use consistently and parsimoniously. Floyd Allport uses similar terms in his article about Polls and the Science of Public Opinion. Allport talks about the intensity dimension that measures the “degree of intensity of feeling with which he clings to the choice which he does hold.” This relates to the Aab because it is the feeling or evaluation an individual has to answer or product. Allport also talks about the Telic Dimension, which measures “how effectively will he act toward his realization.” This relates to the PI because it deals with ones actions upon feeling and evaluating.
Validity and Reliability as Common Themes
The validity of a poll is a common theme in all three readings. Austin and Pinkleton describe validity as a way of measuring something so that it is convincing and can be agreed upon. Spears and Singh used Ab, PI, and Aad in a study to show that it is critical to pay attention to what kind of measures one is using in a poll. They believed that the measures themselves are rarely ever tested and need to be tested so as to produce a more valid and highly accepted poll. It’s harder for people to accept a poll if they don’t believe that the measurements used were valid and reliable. All three readings also talk about the parsimony and reliability of polls. Polls must be easily and clearly read and be able to replicate the results. A good poll has consistent results that valid and easily read.
Sample Poll
Trying to steer clear of heavily political polls, I found a poll on peoples’ opinions on a potential tax on junk food. CBS News asked its readers if they agreed or disagreed with an increase in tax on junk food. 60% opposed an increase in tax and only 38% agreed. The article went on to show that 72% of American’s believed that a tax on junk food would not help people lose weight and only 26% believed that it would help. The validity of this survey comes from its parsimony. Its nominal answers are extremely easy to read and understand, and are simple because there are only two options. It can be easily agreed upon that this is a convincing way to present the idea of a tax on junk food because there aren’t a whole lot of other options that could be added. This poll is also has the potential to be reliable because of its sample group. Over 1,000 American’s were interviewed at random and assuming that spread even amounts of people were interviewed, I can foresee the same results if the poll was replicated. But as of right now, since the poll hasn’t been replicated we can only speculate on its reliability.


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Measuring Opinion

Kathleen Graham
25 February 2010
Qingjiang Yao

Reaction Paper #1
After reviewing the required and recommended reading for today, I have learned a great deal about measuring society’s attitude toward a brand and purchase intentions. Attitudes are very useful in predicting consumer behavior. In the article, attitude toward the brand is defined as “a relatively enduring, unidimensional summary evaluation of the brand that presumably energizes behavior” (Spears, Singh, 55). On the other hand, purchase intentions are defined as “individual’s conscious plan to make an effort to purchase a brand” (Spears, Singh, 56). In the readings we learn that measuring this can be very difficult. In order to have true results, one must create a poll/questionnaire that is valid and reliable, full of clarity, and without bias.
Throughout the article by Spears and Singh, I am given several perspectives by various theorists discussing these two constructs. Since they are both important in advertising/marketing, two problems are significant. There are concerns about these measures being distinct but correlated or unidimensional in nature, and there are concerns that they lack consistency in the scales used. The main consensus though is that measuring society’s attitude toward brand and public intention is not available because the two might not be distinguishable. Two studies were conducted with the purpose of developing valid measures for attitude toward brand and public intention. Advertisers use these two scales to asses various things such as to track trends, to compare a company’s brand with competing brands, etc. The attitude toward brand and public intention measures developed in this study should continue to be helpful to advertisers.
One point throughout these reading that I found particularly interesting was the way that attitude toward a brand and public interest were measured. Many researchers indicated that an attitude toward a brand was measured amongst several items whereas public interest was measured on a single factor. As I first started reading, I thought that the two would be highly connected. It seems simple. If a customer were to have good feeling about an item or brand, it would seem likely that they would have the intention to purchase it.
After accessing my own life and my buying and spending habits, I found that it made sense that they are often times not correlated or undistinguishable. Though I may be interested in an item because I am attracted to it, it does not necessarily mean that I am going to buy it. A lot of times, items or brands may be too expensive or impractical for me to purchase. On the other hand, sometimes I may not be attracted to an item or brand, but may need it to go about my everyday life. An example of this would be the uniform that I had to wear in high school. Though I didn’t like the brand of clothing we were ordered to wear, I had to purchase it in order to attend the school.
To support my argument, I found poll stories on the internet regarding a beauty brand/product called Latisse. This product is attractive to women especially because its purpose is to make eyelashes grow longer, thicker, and fuller. Since lots of women in our society strive to become more beautiful, this product is extremely attractive to them. When asked if they had ever considered getting a prescription for Latisse, a great deal women answered yes. In reality though, the brand did not get the response it had intended for. Due to the side effects and expense of the product, it was not as popular amongst society as one may have thought it would be.

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Allison Lampariello

25 February 2010

The article, “Measuring Attitudes Toward the Brand and Purchase Intentions,” gave a marketing perspective on the measurement of attitudes and intentions. Attitude research is a popular topic in marketing studies because attitudes are useful in predicting consumer behavior, and several studies of attitudes are available, and facilitate research on the topic. Two popular attitudinal constructs include, attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions, otherwise known by the authors as personal action tendencies relating to the brand. The authors of the article set to measure the unidimensionality of the two constructs, trying to clarify if attitudes and purchase behavior are two separate constructs or a single construct. The measures developed in the study were, assessment of customer perception of the brands, tracking trends in brand attitudes, purchase intentions over time, and brand positioning. Through research, they found feelings and advertisements shape one’s attitude towards the brand and purchase intent.

Purchase intentions, defined by the article, are personal action tendencies relating to the brand. Intensions are different from attitudes; attitudes are summary evaluations, and intentions represent a person’s motivation or their conscious plan to carry out a behavior.

The second article, “Polls and the Science of Public Opinion,” discussed how the public forms opinion, and how certain effects can influence the public’s behavior or opinion. The author beings by discussing the bandwagon effect, the bandwagon effect is the tendency to behave as we see others behave. The effect is strengthened if we see or hear a large number of others acting in the same direction. For example, the public tends to be swayed in a direction after seeing where the majority lies on an issue. Another effect discussed by the author is pluralistic ignorance, pluralistic ignorance refers to a lack of awareness of how others think or feel. For example the use of propaganda can be very successful if pluralistic ignorance is in effect.

As a marketing major, and consumer, I can identify with the study by Nancy Spears and Surendra Singh. As a consumer I recognize the effect advertisements have on my attitude toward the brand or product, and my purchase intent. When I see the Super Bowl advertisement Gatorade created, the commercial strengthens my positive feelings towards the brand, I know the next time I shop at the grocery store and I need to purchase a sports drink, Gatorade will be my first choice. However, there can be disconnection between one’s attitude and actual purchase intent. Marketing studies reinforce the importance of “getting the dogs to eat the dog food” or getting consumers to buy the product or service. For example, if I see an advertisement on TV for Colgate toothpaste and it positively affects my attitude toward the brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean the next time I go to buy toothpaste, I’ll buy Colgate. I may go to the store and buy Crest, illustrating the disconnection between attitudes and purchase intentions.

In 2009, a poll by ABC News-Washington Post found 49% of Americans support gay marriage. Five years earlier, in 2004, 32% of Americans favored gay marriage with 62% opposed (please see graph). The shift across ideological groups was surprising to analysts. Conservatives, who are least apt to favor gay marriage, had gone from 10% support in 2004, to 19% in 2006. The reason for the shift in support for gay marriage is most likely due to the bandwagon effect. Many speculate voters were influenced in their opinions because they perceived the majority supported gay marriage rights.

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The section by Austin and Pinkleton was about questionnaire design. Guidelines to focus on are importance of clarity, simplicity, and objectivity. Keeping respondents motivated is also important.
In order to fully understand and measure public opinion, measures need to be valid and reliable. When large groups of people agree that the things used to measure something are appropriate, the measures are considered valid. If the study can be repeated with similar results (using the same measures), the measures are considered reliable.
The actual measures are called “operationalizations”. Since different people measure certain concepts in different ways, this can become a problem. Therefore, measurements chosen must be appropriate as indicators of the concept, unambiguous, and must represent enough about the topic.
Four levels of measurement were described. The level dictates the types of statistical tests that can be performed. The lower the level, the harder it is to analyze relationships of interest. The nominal level puts people in to particular categories and has little explanatory power. The ordinal level allows some order to the attributes, but often confuses respondents. Also, if two items are tied, they are no longer ranked and questions are of less use than the nominal level. The third level is the interval level. It is flexible and has equal intervals between each possible response, giving it a lot of explanatory power. The last level is the ration scale, an interval scale that has a true zero. Respondents give specific numbers to express their answers, such as how many days a week they do something.
“Attitude Toward the Brand” is about a study that was conducted by a team of researchers determined to define and evaluate the relationship between the terms Ab (attitude toward the brand) and PI (purchase intentions). They looked into the meaning of Aad (attitude toward the ad), also, because much previous research incorporated the term. It began with an introduction about what research has already been conducted about the terms and why it is useful to have an understanding of the topic; the topic is useful in predicting consumer behavior. The authors established that Ab and PI are related but distinct constructs. There is a relationship between the person’s attitude toward the brand and his or her intentions to buy the product. They are distinct because they are measured in different ways; attitude by the bipolar affective dimensions relative to an attitudinal object and behavioral intentions by the subjective possibility of performing a behavior.
The authors defined the terms to further their argument that they are related but distinct. They defined attitude as “an individual’s internal evaluation of the brand” and that it is an enduring state that directs behavior, coming from a summary evaluation of the brand. Intentions were defined as “a person’s motivation in the sense of his or her conscious plan to exert effort to carry out a behavior.” Finally Aad is “ a person’s favorable or unfavorable evaluation of an ad.” They described feelings/affective responses/ and moods because they will be part of the evaluation of responses in the actual experiment.
Study 1 was conducted by compiling a pool of items measuring Ab and PI. Ads were chosen and 93 undergraduate students were asked to give their opinions about the ads by filling in a booklet with a rating scale. Feelings and evaluations of the ads (Aad) were also measured. Items were selected carefully; authors wanted to be sure they were measuring “an individual’s internal evaluation of the brand” and “personal action tendencies relating to the brand”.
The authors analyzed the results by conducting two phases: an exploratory analysis that reduced the number of items to produce a meaningful set of underlying factors, and a confirmatory phase that provided a more stringent test of the factor structure. The analyses concluded that 2 factors should be used and that there were adequate levels of internal consistency. After all refinement was undertaken, there were only 5 items from both Ab and PI.
After summarizing the results, which were quite confusing, the authors concluded that internal consistency existed. The exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis yielded the results they were hoping for. They defined Ab and PI as separate but correlated dimensions. The authors believe that their study met the need for refined scales that satisfy standard measurement criteria, namely scales that provide evidence of validity through confirmatory methods and a nomological network. They developed standard measures for Ab and PI that will be useful to managers, advertisers, and marketers in multiple domains.
I agree with many of the statements made in both readings. The first part about questionnaire design highlighted the importance of keeping respondents involved by stressing clarity, objectivity, and simplicity. I have had multiple experiences where I didn’t want to fill out a survey or answer questions to a poll because it was too long, confusing, or of no importance to me. It is crucial to choose your target audience carefully when conducting a survey.
It is good to know the four levels of measurement for our group projects. My group can now reassess the questions we are asking in the survey to make sure they have enough explanatory power and that we are able to analyze relationships of interest.
“Measuring Attitude Toward the Brand and Purchase Intentions” was a bit confusing. Overall, I think the study was for a good purpose and will be of great use for advertisers and marketers. I definitely agree that there is a close-knit relationship between Ab and PI. College kids are probably a very apt group to be influenced by the popular brands and what everyone else is buying. I almost always develop an attitude about something before I purchase it. If I have a previous bias toward a brand, have had a bad experience with it, or have heard that a friend had a bad experience, I will likely not buy the product. This idea is different for impulse buyers. People who enjoy spending money and shopping when they are stressed or just want to have a good time are more likely than others to buy things of different brands without having a particular attitude toward it.
I also see Aad as very prevalent in the world around me. Every day, people probably see hundreds of advertisements, whether their meaning registers consciously or unconsciously. It is hard not to keep images or attitudes in the back of your mind when making purchasing decisions. Attitude toward a brand is likely to be consistent with attitude toward an advertisement; if you like how the company depicts its product or service, you are likely to think highly of that brand. There are definitely certain popular brands of clothes, shoes, alcohol, books, coffee shops, makeup, videogames, etc. that have made their way to the forefront of the minds of college students. Advertisers and marketers are very good at their profession, to say the least.
One article I found that relates to the Austin and Pinkleton excerpt is about CNNMoney.com’s “List of America’s Best Small Cities”. Each year, analysts rank 100 cities based on statistics of multiple measures they believe make them a “best small city”: financial, housing, education, quality of life, leisure and culture, weather, health, and “meet the neighbors” About four or five subtopics modify each of these general concepts. The article was particularly interesting to me because my hometown, Naperville, IL, was ranked third in the 2008 analysis. This study is an example of one that probably took a lot of research to make it reliable and valid. Analysts needed to verify that the study could be replicated using the same measures and come out with similar answers. They did a decent job of “operationalizing” the concept of “best small city” because they went into great detail about what the term entails. The measures were sufficient in number to represent enough about the topic, appropriate indicators of the concept, and unambiguous. The same measures were used when ranking all 100 cities.
(no author). “Best Places To Live” 2010 by Cable News Network. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2008/snapshots/PL1751622.html

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Melissa Payne

019:169: SCA

23 February 2010

Reading Reaction Paper: The Essence of Public Opinion

Both of the articles discussing the essence of public opinion focus on the idea that humans generally have conflicting views on most issues. This conflict is called Ambivalence and is an issue that, according to the authors, most voters and citizens struggle with when forming opinions and making decisions regarding our political system.

The articled titled “Ambivalence, Information, and Electoral Choice,” discusses the different factors that citizens and voters use in order to interpret the political system. According to the article, these factors include political party, issues, ideology and economic performance. After conducting a number of studies, the authors conclude that electoral decision-making is not based on the idea that Americans are too lazy to obtain information; but rather, it is based on the campaign intensity and clear partisan cues.

The article divides American voters into four different categories: Informed voters, informed voters with a high partisan ambivalence, uninformed voters, and uninformed voters with a high partisan ambivalence. According to the article, voters who have a high partisan ambivalence possess less voting confidence because of their conflicting views between values and interests. An example of this would be a woman struggling between feminism and religion when forming her views on abortion. Both informed and uninformed voters with conflicting views will look elsewhere for cues surrounding the issue. Informed voters, however, will look to evaluate the candidates and better interpret their ideological structures. Those who are uninformed, on the other hand, will look to more readily available clues or heuristics. Generally speaking, voters who are more highly informed will rely on ideological postures and issue positions and voters who are less informed are more likely to rely on heuristics, presidential approval and party identification.

With that said, the article concludes that in high intensity campaigns voters are motivated to seek available information and, “Therefore, voters will be less likely to rely on cognitive shortcuts.” While some citizens are more likely to go out of their way to seek information, political involvement is largely based on the intensity of the campaign. It encourages citizens to become involved because there is more at stake when the competition is intense.

The second article, “A Simple Theory of the Survey Response: Answering Questions versus Revealing Preferences,” discusses many of the same issues regarding personal response and ambivalence. The authors formed a model to explain the theory of responses. This model can be split into three sections that can be used to understand why people often retain conflicting views. The first section, “Dependence of attitude reports on probabilistic memory search,” suggests that attitudes are often changing and connected with outcomes of memory searches. The second section, “Effects of ideas recently made salient,” which is the idea that individuals’ opinions can be changed depending on what ideas have recently become important. Finally, “Effects of thought on attitude reports,” which is the concept that when people have more time to think about an issue they are more likely to come up with a concrete response.

The article concludes that most people do not have specific and consistent attitudes, making surveys difficult and contradictory. While people may give a clear answer in a closed-ended question, if given the chance to speak, they will continuously change and defend their answer.

The idea of voters and citizens having ambivalent attitudes is a theory that I had never considered before reading these two articles; however, I believe that both authors made excellent arguments in favor of their opinions. According to ABC News polls in 2009, two thirds of people say that they are in favor of allowing homosexual unions, which is a 12 percent increase since 2007. This poll shows that people’s views are constantly changing. I can see examples of this in my own life, especially after last year’s elections. The idea that I was able to most closely identify with regarding public opinion was the idea that voters with high ambivalent attitudes possess less voting confidence. The example given in “Ambivalence, Information, and Electoral Choice,” of women having conflicting views on abortion, is an issue that I have struggled with. As a feminist, I am pro choice; however, in honor of my religion I am pro life. In my opinion, both articles delivered convincing facts regarding electoral opinion.

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In “Ambivalence, Information, and Electoral Choice” Scott Basinger and Howard Lavine explore how voters make their voting choice. Basinger and Lavine sought to determine when voters used only partisan cues, when they performed ideological or issue voting, and what effect political campaigns have on voters. The authors found that ambivalent partisan attitudes influence how voters make choices, and people with ambivalent attitudes rely less on partisan cues. Ambivalent voters who are politically informed will likely engage in ideological voting while uninformed ambivalent voters rely on simpler retrospective examination of government performance (181). Basinger and Lavine’s findings contradict the idea that Americans cannot or are not willing to go beyond heuristics and low-level thinking when making political decisions (169). The authors argue that the structure of voters’ attitudes matters, and voters with strong partisan attitudes will be willing to rely on partisan labels even if they are well-informed and politically sophisticated. Meanwhile ambivalent voters will seek out other criteria like ideology or economic perspectives for making a voting decision (181)
Basinger and Lavine also found that partisan competition and the intensity of campaigns have important consequences. Low-intensity campaigns do not inform voters effectively and lead them to make a decision in a convenient manner based on partisan cues, ideology, or economic voting. High intensity campaigns, in contrast, increase voters’ reliance on ideology or issue positions and reduce the use of economic perspectives. Basinger and Lavine argue campaigns allow voters to “participate meaningfully in politics” (183).
John Zaller and Stanley Feldman examine opinion research and its short comings in “A Simple Theory of the Survey Response: Answering Questions versus Revealing Preferences.” The authors point out that opinion research is beset by two problems: an individual’s responses are very unstable over time and small changes in a questionnaire’s format affect the results (579). The authors argue against the assumption that citizens hold well-formed attitudes and that surveys measure these concrete attitudes passively. Instead they claim citizens have a mix of partly consistent ideas, and a questionnaire leads to over-emphasis on ideas made more salient by the questionnaire. They argue that survey questions do not just measure public opinion, but they also shape and frame it (582). Zaller and Feldman advise that poll results should not be taken as measures of true attitudes but as a “balance of considerations” (612).
The idea of political ambivalence caught my attention within the two articles. Basinger and Lavine showed that ambivalence leads to less reliance on partisan cues. Zaller and Feldman argued that people often do not hold solidified opinions, and ambivalence can lead people to contradict themselves over time. In their words “individuals possess multiple and often conflicting opinions toward important issues” (584). This argument seems to accurately portray citizens, and it reflects my own experience. On many issues I do not hold a solid opinion, and new information has the potential to sway me. Also, as Zaller and Feldman pointed out the way a question is asked can also change my answer. For instance if someone asked me if I approved of abortion they may get a different answer than if they had asked if I think women should have control over their own bodies including choosing abortion. I hold an ambivalent attitude on this issue, and question framing could influence my response.
A 2006 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey article titled “Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues – Most Want Middle Ground on Abortion” explores Americans’ opinions and reveals ambivalence. The article contends that Americans don’t divide clearly into conservative or liberal categories regarding many social issues, and their point of view differs on each issue. Referring to key social issues the author writes “public opinion (…) continues to be mixed and often inconsistent.” This finding supports Zaller and Feldman’s argument about opinion inconsistency.
The Pew Research Center article includes public opinion information on gay marriage, and there seems to considerable ambivalence surrounding this issue. 56% of Americans oppose gay marriage while 35% support it. Yet, 54% favor letting gay couples enter legal agreements that give them the same rights of married couples. Only a small percentage of gay marriage opponents support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning gay marriage. This seems to imply that people’s attitudes toward gay marriage are not strong enough that they want a constitutional amendment, which suggests a degree of ambivalence.
The article also explored reproductive issues like stem cell research, abortion, and pharmacists providing the morning after pill. The authors stated that the findings “underscore the public’s deep ambivalence on reproductive rights.” The Pew Research Center poll story on public opinion towards social issues reflects the two article’s emphasis on ambivalence. People have ambivalent attitudes toward many issues, and this ambivalence must be taken into account when exploring voting choice and the meaning of public opinion.

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By Beth Wendling

In Lau and Redlawsk’s article Advantage and Disadventage of Cognitive Heuristics, the two believe that the general population is ignorant to many of the most important political issues and how the government works.  Cognitive heuristics is the idea that people are “limited information processors”, and are skilled in applying a variety of information, known as shortcuts, to make reasonable decisions with little cognitive effort.  The article states that there are five common cognitive heuristics used by voters; relying on a candidates party affiliation(partisan schema), relying on a candidates ideology for cognitive savings(ideology schema), endorsement heuristic , viability from polls and candidate appearance.  “Heuristic use compensates for a lack of knowledge about and attention to politics by allowing people to make accurate political judgments with the little information they know. People may use some or all cognitive heuristics in a given situation, but that does not mean they are equally effective.  Situational or contextual factors influence heuristic use.  People are more likely to use cognitive heuristics in difficult situations with greater cognitive demand.
In West’s article, Polling Effects in Election Campaigns, West explains how although polls have been an important factor in American electoral politics.  However, some worry that polls released during election campaigns will sway voter preferences and distort the turnout decision of voters. One of the biggest concerns is that polling effects is the elite influence in democratic elections. West states that “If voters cast ballots because of polling releases during the campaign, it gives enormous power to those political and media elites who control the dissemination of poll results”. Polls of emotional matters are even influenced by outside forces, such as poling results.

I agreed with both articles, and found them especially true thinking of this past election. I agree that people don’t feel that they need full information or all the details about political matters, and voters feel comfortable using what information they already know when making a decision. Cognitive heuristics is important in the decision making process of many voters.  Although it is evident in politics and easy to think of numerous examples, I think people demonstrate cognitive heuristics and use shortcuts to help them make decisions in their everyday lives. One of the criticisms the article offered  was that it is easier to assume humans use cognitive heuristics when making decisions then to consider that they may be informed and actually know a lot about the topic. Although I believe some people are educated on politics and issues, I think most people do use cognitive heuristics because it is difficult to learn all of the aspects of so many issues.
West’s article states that “Partisan-ship long has been considered an important factor in structuring candidate elections, stabilizing public attitudes, and educating citizens”.  Although news affiliates and reporters try to remain unbiased, I think it is evident which news stations are more liberal or conservative, and the same with reporters.  They have a strong influence in deciding what information and polls will be presented as well as how they will be presented and in what context .
After reading both of these articles, I thought about the last presidential election and other situations where I have had to make a decision or take a side.  During this past election especially, I used cognitive heuristics to make my decisions. Although I did not really know much about many of the political issues being addressed, I made decisions based on what was said by the candidate whose political party I considered myself a part of.
A poll was conducted by World Public Opinion back in October 2008 just as the debates over healthcare were beginning to intensify.  During the election it w as clear that one candidate was an advocate of the healthcare reform and the other was strongly opposed.  Participants were asked “should be responsible for ensuring that its citizens can meet their basic need for health care”.   75% of the people polled voted that they were for the health care reform.  Thinking back to before the election, a lot of the news was focused on the issues being addressed by the candidates, especially the issue of health care.  Considering the idea of cognitive heuristics, a lot of people may have not known very much about health care or considered it an issue, regardless of whether they would be for or against it.  The people being polled in this poll most likely used one of the five cognitive heuristics.  Based on the results of the poll the endorsement heuristic could have been a popular tactic used by most voters.

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