Comm 162 midterm study guide
Comm 162 midterm study guide Comm162
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Erica Evans on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Comm162 at Stanford University taught by Shanto Iyengar in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Campaigns, Voting, Media in Communication Studies at Stanford University.
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Date Created: 02/07/16
Comm162 Midterm Study Guide 2/6/2016 TERMS: “Micro-‐targeting”: Today, if you are a registered party member, you will bombarded by contacts. There are voter files and these are mined by many organizations. People see what kinds of products you buy and what kind of media you consume. Parties figure out just what kind of message they should send. “Party discipline”: If you are elected as a Dem or Rep, you are expected to vote along the party line. You cannot vote against the party as a politician who has been elected. (In America, you are not legally bound, but in other countries you could be expelled). “Party/Member identification.” People acquire bonds with political parties early in life – as early as kindergarten. It’s like being a part of a team. This passed down from your parents and stays with people through their entire lives. “Free agent candidates” Candidates that are autonomous, or independent of the party. They do not need permission to declare candidacy from the party. In the US you just need financial resources; you don’t need any experience. In fact sometimes that is preferred. In the rest of the world, party organizations control this selection, and so they are not “free agent candidates.” “Party machines” In US big cities, there used to be strong party organizations that came to be known as party machines. They doled out benefits in exchange for votes and mobilized thousands to vote on the basis of economic benefits. “Party patronage” When immigrants arrived in a city, the political party machine leaders provided short-‐term employment and subsistence payments. They offered financial incentives for votes. “Public Financing Rules” You can use tax money to campaign. But this caps what you can spend, so no one has opted for this since 2000. Today, this is more academic. All American candidates rely on private finance. “Closed Primary” (most common) – Eligibility to vote is based on registration aka It’s basically a country club. You have to pay dues. “Open Primary” – Michigan is an example of this. The problem is democrats could go vote for a weak republican candidate and there is possibility for sabotage. So all party leaders are against this. But people want this because this is America and there is this anti-‐party sentiment and people want freedom. “Blanket or “top two” primary” (CA and WA) – all candidates from all parties are on the same ballot; in practice outcomes from CA and WA are not different from those instates with a closed system. But technically you could get two candidates from the same party. “Front-‐loading” – The whole campaign strategy is squeezed is into the first two weeks – because of the importance of early primaries. This has changed though, because they have spread out the primaries more. Ex: Whereas McCain had won by Feb. 6, Romney didn’t win until May 22. Party Lists and GOTV – The main role of parties, is getting people to get out and vote. Data shows this works. More people vote when they are directly contacted by these organizations. Elite polarization – Polarization among party elites and politicians. This is un-‐ debated. Mass polarization – Polarization among normal citizens. People debate whether or not this exists. Proportional representation system -‐-‐ In Europe, you might get new political parties every cycle because it is a proportional representation system. If you get 10 percent of the votes, you get 10% of the seats in parliament. In the US, it is much harder to start a new party. Even if you get 20% of the vote, you will have 0 representation in the national government. This is why we have a 2 party system. Partisan realignment – When the party system and what each party stands for changes in a big way. The last partisan realignment was the Great Depression. Before this, the working class was dominated by republicans. Then, FDR was elected on the basis of the expansion of social welfare state. This created the divide between the working class (democrat) vs. wealthy people (republican). Public Sphere –there is an ongoing debate about issues and policy in a democratic state. A Marketplace of ideas – The theory that news should tune you into a variety of positions and ideas. Watchdog function – Media is meant to hold government and other institutions accountable. But this function has been weakened. Ex: Bush’s claims about Iraq’s nuclear weapons were totally backed up by the press, even though they turned out to be totally false. There is a distinction now (starting after 1984) that U.S. reporting is more “mediated” rather than “descriptive,” there is no more unedited coverage of political actors. Instead, journalists attempt to contextualize what was said. Sound bytes – these are shrinking; you don’t get to hear extended clips of candidates speaking on the news anymore. In 1968, you would have seen like 5 minutes of politicians speaking in their own words. Today, it is 10 seconds. “Motivated reasoning” – Even when you try to correct people’s misperceptions, it just reinforces their beliefs, because they feel defensive. “Knowledge gap” – Is education correlated with knowledge? In the U.S. it is highly correlated. The more educated people know much more about world affairs. In other similar countries however, even uneducated people manage to have a relatively good understanding of politics. “Inadvertent audience” – In other countries there is public broadcasting that requires brief news bulletins to be shown during peak watching hours. People end up viewing news inadvertently Ex: BBC runs news during halftime of premier soccer games. Conclusion: U.S.’s market-‐oriented deregulated news media leads to lack of “civic news” and more “soft news”. European system with both public (paid for by tax payers/subsidized by the state) and private broadcasting is most effective at informing citizens about civic affairs. Equal time provision: When the FCC required that equal time be given to all candidates on the air. (was repealed) Fairness doctrine – A rule that media companies had to counter any negative commentary equally with the opposing view (was repealed) The fairness doctrine: must have balanced treatment of controversial issues (was repealed) “Polemics” This is a European tradition – newspapers follow different parties Types of media systems: • 1) Liberal model – US, UK, Australia • 2) Democratic Corporatist Model – Scandinavia, Germany • 3) “Polarized-‐Pluralist” – Italy, Spain Nielson ratings: The major ratings system for media viewership. Their rating system uses units of Gross Rating Point, GRP = 1.1 million viewers “Sweeps” – 4 times a year, there is a two-‐week period when Nielson ratings are measured. Then advertising rates are based on those audience numbers. The networks pull out all the stops to get people to watch during this time. “Mirror image” The idea that news reflects reality. News is anything that is newsworthy. This is a reliable and unbiased sample of the news of the day. (But this idea is totally false) “Market model” Theory that news is simply whatever sells. Soft news will drive out hard news. Eventually news networks will reach equilibrium between hard news for political junkies and soft news for everyone else. Beats – reporters are assigned to report on a specific subject, or location. “The golden triangle” = the area between the White House, the State Dept. and the Pentagon. Pack Journalism: there are leaders and there are followers. There are high prestige outlets: The NYT, Washington post. If the NYT puts something on the front page, ABC, CBS CNN will surely talk about that thing that night. Ad-‐watching – Journalists start analyzing and critiquing political ads. Fact-‐checking – CNN was the first network to have a dedicated correspondent for fact-‐checking. Indexing – (Paper by Bennett – Journalists invariably rely on someone who has an official position. Government officials are favored as journalistic sources. Because the American tradition is rooted in idea of objectivity, a good way to translate objectivity is to simply index the content of the report to the debate that is going on in Washington. The debate that is going on in the elite strata will be reflected in reporting. Point counter-‐point reporting. Selective exposure: people select the content of news they want to encounter on a regular basis. “The Daily Me” – customized news consumption The attentive public hypothesis: these people are interested in news b/c they are political junkies and everyone else is looking for entertainment. The people that know a lot will know more and others will know nothing. The rich get richer idea. Polarization hypothesis: if you have political preferences, you will seek information that supports your party. Issue public hypothesis: People are interested in specific policy areas. People who own guns or are members of the NRA have an overriding interest in gun control etc. There are compartmentalized areas of interest. They just seek out information that applies to them. Negativity Bias: people are talked more about by blogs that hate them than blogs that support them. De facto selectivity (or accidental exposure): Ex: Businessmen read the Wall Street Journal. They do not read it because they are republican, but there is a correlation between being a businessman and being conservative, so more conservatives read the Wall Street Journal. Free rider problem: a problem in all social organizations. You know that other people are going to show up to the protest, so why go? This problem also applies to voting: we know plenty of other people will vote so we don’t need to. Freedom FROM the press: There is direct candidate to voter communication. Candidates don't need the press to get their message out. Opinion: A more concrete position on one issue, more dynamic and subject to change with new information. Attitude: Broader, more diffuse, deep-‐seated, not likely to change over time Cognitive: refers to beliefs that people have Affective (evaluation): the emotional, liking component Behavioral (action): are people going to actually act on their opinions? It turns out that attitudes and behaviors are only weakly affected in reality. Intensity/salience– how much do you care? Evangelicals might care a lot because their salvation is at stake, but most Americans don’t feel very intensely about politics. Connectivity – does this person prescribe to a certain ideology? Conservative ideology encompasses abortion, immigration, terrorism etc. It is a package; opinions are predictable. But for most Americans, connectivity is minimal. Informational content (or just stereotypes) – representative government relies on an informed voting public. But most people do not research policies in order to make an educated vote, They just base their opinions on stereotypes. Psychological short-‐cuts = heuristics Popkin’s “gut rationality” Ex: Gerald Ford in 1966: tried to eat a tamale with the corn husk on it, but this showed that he did not care about Latinos. People make sweeping generalizations from specific actions. Popkin’s “fire alarms”: people have 2 gears. Normally they don’t care, but when there is a huge tragedy or crisis, people become more motivated to acquire information. Police patrolling model: the opposite of fire alarm. The press is always reporting and monitoring what is going on in the world. Voters administer “rough justice” (Fiorina) – if you screw up as an elected official, you will get thrown out Egocentric voting: What’s in it for me? Sociotropic voting: How has this candidate helped society as a whole? Achen and Bartels “blind retrospection” No matter what happened, if people are upset they will blame the government. For example: blaming a government for shark attacks or a drought. Political socialization. There is a gradual political learning process that starts when you are very young. The persistence of early learning: what happens at age 5 stays with you for the rest of your life. Once a democrat, always a democrat. Generational model: Bennington study à People who became adults in 1930, when the world is thrown into economic crisis. The depression generation’s political views were profoundly impacted. Today those people are very elderly, but they are probably still strongly democrat. Socialization agents: family-‐parents, peer groups, civic education-‐schooling, mass media, direct experience Priming effect – a logical extension of agenda setting. The media primes us what to think about and what to judge candidates on based on what issues they are reporting. Framing: The way you interpret a picture is based on the frame around it. How do the news media present issues and outcomes? READINGS/PRESENTATIONS: Reading: Zaller • Reforms of party elections, party bosses are gone, but Zaller claims that parties still have a strong voice in the election process. Candidates are being judged by a pool of their peers. Elites, politicians. • It is important to receive a formal endorsement from elites. • The endorsements are highly indicative of who will win in the end. This is evidence that the party still has sway. • BUT 2016 IS GOING AGAINST THIS! Jeb Bush has the most endorsements. On the Dem side, Hilary has the most endorsements by a landslide. • Endorsements as a form of “peer review” – Zaller says this is preferable. Their ensorsements should count for something. Better than “beauty contests” of the populace. Sound Byte Democracy • Media is changing in terms of technology • Not many Sound bytes early in the 60’s • During the Nixon campaign, Nixon had a coach to get him better Sound bytes for television. • Sound bytes then, 35 sec. would have been short. Now, 15 seconds is long! • There has been more critical journalism along with shorter sound bytes • Reinforces the idea that we cannot trust politicians. • Increase ratings for local news – you must have fast-‐paced reporting. Candidates get coaching to produce good sound bytes, especially in debates, candidates tend to end with a sound byte. More on Sound bytes: • It is a huge contrast between the 70’s and now. Sound bytes used to be so long! • The press does not like to be manipulated. The culture of journalism emphasizes independence. • Start more to explain the strategy behind a candidate’s campaign Polls vs. Pols: Cohen et al • Does money predict presidential nominations? • What are the biggest predictors of party nominations? • Party insiders actually have retained as significant amount of control in party nominations. (This is a counter-‐argument to the assumption that party elites have lost power) • Polls taken before the presidential primary very accurately predict the winner. • Endorsements also play a big role – polls and endorsements are equally important predictors of the primary result. • If polls were the primarily significant factor, then you would expect endorsers to select a front-‐runner and endorse them. But, if it was the other way around, you would see party leaders making independent judgments from the polls because their endorsements mean more. • This study found that change in either polls or endorsements early on led to changes in the other. • BUT: endorsements influence polls 3x more than polls influence endorsements. • The support of party insiders does not guarantee primary success. Party insiders still pay attention to what the public wants – this candidate has to be viable. Party insiders constitute their own party within the party. • The invisible primary: there’s also a battle inside the party amongst the party insiders. Candidates try to build support from party insiders. • Party insiders are familiar with who is running, and probably more informed. • Does money predict presidential nominations? Cohen says no! • Problems with this article: If the argument is that endorsements affect polls, how do people find out about the endorsements? In reality, normal people don’t hear about or care about endorsements. • Today, Trump has no endorsements but he has a lot of popularity. • Trump is a really interesting counter-‐example to this because he has no endorsements. But this is a signal of a mistrust of the party system: if you have a lot of endorsements, you must not be a good guy, too political etc. • Bernie also has few endorsements but a lot of young people want him to be president. Bernie is playing off of this: What state hates you most? Washington D.C. Zaller: • Product substitution: the harder presidential campaigns try to control what journalists say, the more adversarial the journalists will be • Theory of media politics: journalists, media and voters all have different voters. • Candidates want to control the media through strategic campaigning • Journalists want to say something new and original, have their voice heard. When candidates try to control the news it makes this difficult. • The rational voter wants to make informed vote, but put in the least amount of effort. Time-‐saving heuristics • Journalists use controversy to put their own spin on stories • Journalists used to report news more directly without analysis • Open news strategy – relatively free access to the candidate, interviews or opening events to the press. Idea is that if you give enough information upfront, journalists won’t snoop around for more negative news. • Closed news strategy – try to restrict access to the candidates. Leave journalists with only the information the campaign provides. The journalist will substitute their own thoughts (probably negative) to substitute the information they didn’t receive. • Horserace coverage: use sound bytes and analyze them. • So why pursue closed news strategy if it just produces more negativity? Maybe the candidate thinks this is worth the risk, or that criticism is not important. • Polls standing is a critical barometer: If you are leading in the polls, you will probably pursue a closed strategy, but if you are behind, you will probably be open because any coverage will be good. • Ex: Trump is pursuing a closed strategy – he kicks out journalists, doesn’t answer questions he doesn’t like etc. Political blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: divided they blog • How do political bloggers interact? • Are blogs more liberal or conservative? • Cyberbalkanization: people are only exposed to news that they are already in agreement with. They seek out sources that align with their opinions. • Analyzed 40 influential blogs two months before the election • Conservative bloggers cite each other more than liberal bloggers. Very little Cross-‐citing between conservative and liberal blogs. • Conservative bloggers were not “echo chambers” • Many bloggers support their positions by criticizing the other party • Conservatives and liberals focus on different issues – focus on issues that they ‘own’ • There was no analysis of independent blogs though People have the ability to construct their own media environment. This was not true in the old days. People thought that the internet would lead to a huge diversity of perspectives… but this didn’t happen. Now we have all these conservative and liberal bloggers, but they hardly interact with each other. Googlearchy • Information cost is central to political organization (very old theory). The information cost has been lowered with the web, but this has not translated into wider points of view. • With the advent of the web, this strain of democratic theory (information costs) was applied assuming 1) the web generates easily accessible content 2) because of this condition, citizens will tend to get information from certain media outlets and their attention will be dispersed across all the different sources • Citizens want political information (but this might not necessarily be the case!) • Political information and collective action – may not be very closely related. • The web has an egalitarian structure • Web structure matters – how many sites you link to and how many sites link to you – affects how easily your site & your information can be reached. • The author chose 200 seed sites and looked at what they linked to. How many of the links had information related to the seed site? • So… the web is very big, but the sites you can reach are very few because of the power law distribution. A few very big sites dominate the Internet. The big providers, the aggregators are where people are getting information. It’s not like there’s a million points of view out there. Going without Data: Information shortcuts: -‐ Chapter 3 from the Reasoning Voter (Popkin) -‐ For voters without all of the information on policy, they will look for short-‐ cuts -‐ Uncertainty about policies is pervasive among voters. Campaigns are designed to address this uncertainty. But campaigns are limited by short-‐cuts voters are using like party identity. -‐ Mass communication: hypodermic needle theory à will inject into all people and everyone will believe the same thing. People were worried about this. -‐ 1940’s they realized that the hypodermic needle theory doesn’t happen. The mass media delivers information to opinion leaders who disseminate the information to others. Today, these opinion leaders might be journalists who interpret and analyze the information. -‐ Relying on opinion leaders or experts is another heuristic. -‐ Party identification: the major shortcut for voting decisions. -‐ Default values: used to figure out what your party ID is. Evaluate ideology à what does this party stand for? -‐ Also, past performance and the economy are used to evaluate parties -‐ Party image and comparative assessment: during a campaign, candidates stress the things their party is known for. Republicans are tough on crime etc. -‐ ^ Theory of issue voter-‐ship -‐ Are they competent? à Campaign behavior is a shortcut to assess competence. -‐ What are the demographics? à Gender, religion, ethnicity, where are they from? -‐ What about their character or sincerity? à How is their family/private life? -‐ When do voters use heuristics? All the time! Elite Party Polarization: affects on public opinion formation -‐ Elite polarization: high levels of homogeneity within parties, distance between parties. -‐ Framing – how a speaker chooses to emphasize a subject -‐ Partisan cues: motivated reasoning theory à people seek out information that confirms their prior beliefs. Dismiss evidence that is inconsistent with their beliefs. -‐ Experiment: survey about drilling for oil and gas and the DREAM act. People were asked to identify their party. Then they were presented with different frames of an issue and asked to choose. -‐ In a polarized partisan environment, partisan motivated reasoning overwhelms all substance -‐ When presented with opposing frames of the same strength, opinions are not affected. -‐ When no polarization is present, opinion moves in the direction of how strong the framing is. -‐ Polarization intensifies the impact of party endorsements on opinions. -‐ People are less inclined to consider ‘strong’ arguments when party polarization is present.
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