Skip to main content

Policy Mood and Political Sophistication: Why Everybody Moves Mood

  • PETER K. ENNS (a1) and PAUL M. KELLSTEDT (a2)

This article presents evidence that both micro (individual level) and macro (aggregate level) theories of public opinion overstate the importance of political sophistication for opinion change. It is argued that even the least politically sophisticated segment of society receives messages about the economy and uses this information to update attitudes about political issues. To test this hypothesis, the authors have used General Social Survey data to construct a 31-item measure of policy mood, disaggregated by political sophistication, that spans from 1972 to 2004. They found that all the subgroups generally changed opinion at the same time, in the same direction, and to about the same extent. Furthermore, they show that groups at different sophistication levels change opinions for predominantly the same reasons.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 102 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 397 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.