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Is It Really Ambivalence?

Public Opinion Toward Government Spending
  • William G. Jacoby

Abstract

Ambivalence within citizens’ political orientations is currently an important topic for scholars interested in American public opinion. The very existence of the volume within which this chapter appears is telling evidence of that fact. The usual conception of ambivalence stresses that individuals feel pulled in conflicting directions by the beliefs that enter into the development of their own attitudes. Empirically, ambivalence is manifested by the expression of contradictory opinions. However, I believe that a note of caution would be useful. We should not be too eager and always assume that contradictory opinions signal the presence of attitudinal ambivalence. There are, of course, many other potential sources for conflicting feelings about government, politics, and policy.

Keywords

Government Spending Policy Area Food Stamp Party Identification American National Election Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Stephen C. Craig and Michael D. Martinez 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • William G. Jacoby

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