Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people’s attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.

Content Analyses and Public Opinion Research

Content analyses and public opinion research

A lasting question of public opinion research concerns the relationship between public opinion and media messages: Do news media mould or mirror public opinion? Generations of scholars speculated about the direction of a hypothetical link and called for valid empirical evidence. As a matter of fact, the methodology is available for answering this question. Numerous studies have demonstrated how the relationship between public opinion and communications can be examined and specified.

This chapter begins with some examples of research settings and theoretical approaches combining public opinion research with analyses of communication content. Thereafter, the basics of content analysis methodology are briefly described. In this context, the instrumental use of the content analysis method for analyzing ...

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