Public Opinion

Carroll J. Glynn, Susan Herbst, Mark Lindeman, Garrett J. O'Keefe, Robert Y. Shapiro

Third Edition • July 7, 2015 • 406 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813349404 • $52.00 USD$67.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813349411 • $33.99 USD$33.99 CAN

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Public Opinion is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary examination of public opinion in the United States. Drawing on scholarship in political science, psychology, sociology, and communications, the authors explore the nature of political and social attitudes in the United States and how these attitudes are shaped by various institutions, with an emphasis on mass media. The book also serves as a provocative starting point for the discussion of citizen moods, political participation, and voting behavior. Feature boxes and illustrations throughout help students understand all aspects of the elusive phenomenon we call public opinion.

The third edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect how public opinion is studied today, and to incorporate current data and debates. The book now contains two revised and reframed theory chapters—“Group Membership and Public Opinion” and “Public Opinion and Social Process”—as well as new coverage of the influence of online and social media on public opinion, especially in issue opinions and campaigns.

Carroll J. Glynn is professor and director of the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

Susan Herbst is President of the University of Connecticut.

Mark Lindeman is a freelance public opinion and elections consultant and teaches in the QMSS program at Columbia University.

Garrett J. O’Keefe is professor emeritus of journalism at Colorado State University.

Robert Y. Shapiro is professor of political science at Columbia University.


Part One: Introducing Public Opinion
1. The Meanings of Public Opinion
2. The History of Public Opinion
3. Methods for Studying Public Opinion

Part Two: Theories of Public Opinion
4. Public Opinion and Democratic Theory
5. Psychological Perspectives on Public Opinion
6. Stereotyping, Social Norms, and Public Opinion
7. Perception and Opinion Formation
8. Economic Approaches

Part Three: Public Opinion in Context
9. Content and Conflict in Public Opinion
10. Public Opinion and Policymaking
11. Communicating, Campaigning and the Public (TK)
12. Looking Ahead

Praise for the second edition:

“Simply the best book published on public opinion today. No other authors do a better job in covering how public opinion is formed, measured, and used in democratic society. Scholars and students of public opinion will love reading and learning from this superb book.”
Kenneth Warren, Saint Louis University; president of The Warren Poll; and author of In Defense of Public Opinion Polling

“Public Opinion is a delightful text that is both theoretically sophisticated and imminently readable. A valuable teaching resource that covers the traditional material thoroughly but also includes unique topics that draw on the broad expertise of its authors.”
Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University

“The interdisciplinary nature of this book is its greatest asset. I am struck by how effectively the authors cover an immense amount of ground in terms of the role public opinion plays in politics, how public opinion develops and evolves, and the media’s role in public opinion formation.”
Stephen J. Farnsworth, University of Mary Washington

“Public Opinion presents a strong theoretical foundation of why we study public opinion grounded in practical examples. This type of approach allows the reader to put the study of public opinion in a context that matters to the student and frames the course in a way that allows the instructor to build a strong curriculum.”
Kevin Wagner, Florida Atlantic University

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