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.

Assessing Long-Term Value Changes in Societies

Assessing long-term value changes in societies

In public opinion research, interest is often focused on the topics of the day. Opinion change is not always a relevant concern, and long-term trends receive even less attention. Single results will, however, become more interesting if they can be seen in relation to a wider framework of changing values and attitudes in society. This chapter deals with how to collect and analyze survey data to assess long-term trends in public opinion.

Values in Public Opinion Research

Since the pioneering voter study The People's Choice (Lazarsfeld, Berelson, & Gaudet, 1944), social background variables like gender, age, education, and occupation have played a central role in survey analyses of political behavior. Subsequent electoral studies like The American ...

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