POLB52: Lecture 4 – January 31 2012
Theories force us to clarify our thinking about topics. In psychological explanation, we are
psychological animals and we have characteristics we share in common even animals. We have
psychological characteristics that are different, different dispositions.
Ideology – refers to all kinds of different things but mostly as belief system in politics
which is an individualistic way of thinking about ideology. Converse –“a configuration of
ideas and attitudes in which the elements are bound together by some form of
o We have thoughts about how the world would be.
o Belief system – interrelated ideas and attitudes bound together with some
o Constraint –*slide* Ex. If you tell me your opinions about gay adoption. Should
gay couples be allowed to adopt children? Some degree of success in predicting
your opinion about gay adoption given some knowledge to your idea.
o Probability that change in precede status of one idea element *slide* Different
kinds of ideas we hold.
Ex. You support of all kinds of policies that are design to restrict green
house gas emission that makes the environment bad. Global warming is
manmade, if I could prove that green house gases wasn’t created by
humans then your belief system is wrong.
o Each of us harbours a believe system but have some common beliefs. This is why
people talk about left and right. People can dislike conservative, socialism,
o Some of us may not be conscious about ideology or developed ideology yet.
Where do they get worldview ideas? Some ideas that we are committed to we cannot
believe other people doesn’t believe in them (ex. Equal rights). They are in fact
fundamentally rare worldwide.
Ideology is often used to refer to property or a group of society. (Catholic, Islamic,
liberal ideology) Mariheim- It’s the idea that there’s a worldview as a group as a whole
where we can list characteristics of its ideology. Each people in the group don’t share all
of the ideology in that group. It’s not about the aggregation about our thoughts. A group
ideology is not some idea that every group people share.
o If we live in a free society where we can be exposed to any knowledge, why do
we agree with each other on these matters of fundamental principal and we completely agree with ideas that other people from different countries don’t
Culture – group world view. (political scientist) – General ideas of a group, societies have
culture, they persist in time but they change in time slowly, certain culture being
meanable to the development of democracy. There’s a slow democracy development
because some cultures never accepted it yet), Provincial culture – political culture – to
what extent there’s different culture, political culture? Why do these differences exist?
Canadian culture is defined very differently before. It was seen as being humble, and
reserved. They weren’t loud etc. Canadian nationalism has been defeated and the
society will be indistinguishable from the United States (Grant)
o Two challenges –
Problem 1: how do the individual and the group interact with each other
to produce ideologies and culture? Groups do not exist without the
individuals that constitute it but the individual’s culture doesn’t
constitute without the group. We pass many different things to the
people around us (influences). (ex. health habits, smoking, depression, )
Groups can affect the individual.
Problem 2: What are the sources of ideological and cultural
disagreement? A lot of People disagree on politics passionately. People
could hate the people they disagree with. What happens to somebody to
make people think like this?
Explaining World Views - relationship between information and predisposition. Zaller-
”Every opinion is a marriage of information and predisposition: information to form a
mental picture of the given issue, and predisposition to motivate some conclusion about
Ex. Should we give people more votes to people who are more smarter/working
more? Some would say no because of equality rights but should we give people
more money to people who are more smarter/working? Some would say yes
because economics. Therefore there’s inconsistent views in life
- Slide picture: he was a racist; O.J. Simpson had a history of beating his wife. His wife
and her friend was brutally murder in her yard. They had a trial. OJ Simpson has been
beating his wife over a period of time, but attorney says lots of men beat their wives but
very few kill them. Given the probably 99 percent, it’s the husband that killed his wife
but didn’t use this statistics. They found O.J. gloves with blood, but he said that the
glove doesn’t fit so it wasn’t him. There’s a whole reason why he’s guilty. Then someone
said he was a racist over black people, one group (black people) was ha