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Think tanks are nonprofit, research-oriented institutes whose primary objective is to influence public opinion and public policy. Think tanks have the objective of providing research and innovative policy solutions to legislators, the judiciary, and the public. Some scholars suggest that think tanks exist merely for the type of large-scale lobbying that aims to create a climate of opinion favorable to particular private interests. The term think tank was first used in the United States during World War II to refer to a secure room where defense scientists and army planners could meet to discuss war strategy, but the meaning has expanded to include any advice-giving institution, including public relations and marketing organizations.

Scholars who have studied the growth and development of American think tanks agree that ...

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