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Lecture 5

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Political Science
Mcc Alllister

POLB52 Lecture 5  News in politics today the Senate is under fire as talked about in last semester the senators don’t get elected and in often the way in which they are appointed draws opposition from folks other than parties  Senators are appointed by the prime minister in the power typically on party lines giving royalty to the party they don’t really have power only legal power and not practical power  People think we should get rid of senators and some think argue that we should reform it  Senators are required to have certain characteristics you have to have network and property greater than 4000 dollars–  They also have to be resident in the province they were appointed – there’s a clause in the constitution that’s speculate that the certain numbers of senators have to be from these regions  There was a problem where one senator was claiming a living allowance- their expected to use the money for their residence however one the senator contacted the minister to get a health card and he went back and claimed living allowance  Last week we talked about information affects us and how the media had some sort of affect on us  We wouldn’t know about the liberal leadership if it wasn’t for the media you wouldn’t know if the senator got arrested we wouldn’t know anything that’s going on in the world if it was the Media  Given the idea that people rely on the media for information it gives a mass effect on peoples beliefs  The point of the media is that it’s a study of our effects on beliefs and the way we see the world  When researchers conducted a study on the media it had a minimal effect this was called the minimal effect hypothesis – people chose their own media that their exposed  If you know all sort of information about the world and the on going issues then you’re able restrict the information from the media  Highly informed highly interested people that pay attention to political information are highly resistant to that information and are less influenced by it, on the other hand the less informed people and less interested in politics are most likely to be influenced  We are interested in the information we pick up from our environments  Differences in how people react to information even when were exposed to the same information there are systematic differences between people in terms of how we react to that information  2 people exposed to the same message and same argument same information from any kind of source react to that information and diametrically exposing ways  Previous position- We are predisposed to react in different ways to information (zaller article)  Personality –We can think of different types of people sometimes you meet someone and their patterns of behaviors their manner reporting themselves  They might remind you of someone you might know – some people are quiet shy out going some people are humble and agreeable and some people avoid conflict  If you’re at a restaurant like Tim Horton’s and you get your order and its not what you wanted you go back and demand to get it changed or you quietly eat it and think for next time to get the order right  There are differences in people when it comes to these small everyday behaviors  We can these differences when we sit down and ask people a series of questions psychologists have created a series of questions that are designed to measure different personality traits so different properties of personality – the differences are something that emerges in surveys they’re actually something that effects people’s daily lives is it someone that has clean desk vs someone that has a dirty desk  They way a person dresses can be based on personality good indication of this is when you look at political convention best example is the united states look at the entire young people that go to the republicans and conservatives they way dress in suits and the way they act and then you look at democratic the way the dress you can distinguish that they belong to a particular party  People with different personality traits aligned themselves with political parties one of the parties  One of the model the big 5 personality traits first one is openness to experience- examples of openness to experience – I have rich vocabulary I have excellent ideas I have vivid a imagination vs somebody who isn’t interested in abstraction I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas I don’t have a good imagination these are the themes that openness to experiences reports to measure  Conscientiousness refers to someone’s organization or to a extent of what they are driven by a team like a systemization – examples – im always prepared I pay attention to full detail I get chores done right away I follow a schedule - opposite to conscientiousness I leave my belongings around I make a mess of things forget to put things back in the right place  Extraversion – is when you feel comfortable around in a group your not shy around people you’re very talkative talk to different people  Agreeableness- How agreeable you are, you have a soft heart, you have emotions towards people vs im not interested in people or care about them  Neuroticism- is basically are you disturbed or are you nervous basically are you unbalanced  The way you answers these questions they give predictable patterns in how other people think as well  The idea that a person can predict your answer on the basis of some other question with central notion of idea in ideology all of these questions are highly constrained  If a person answers one of those questions in one way they tend to answer all the other questions in the same way based on their personality  This measuring something real and observable about people and there’s lots of studies in political science suggest that these kind of differences political conflict for example people who vote for NDP have a certain personality compare to those who vote for another party  Jost article- in political physiology approach he mentions conservatives are close minded fearful and liberals are open minded and brave  These pervious positions to our environment suggest that were not fundamentally unique we have some similarities that we share with some people and those personalities have political conflict  One of the major questions in social sciences is where do these pervious positions come from? Where do these people acquire these personality traits ?  Social science answer to that for the past decade is that we socialize and when we learn things it shapes our personality  In Italy there is one part that is rich and one part that is poor back in the 50s there was a study southern Italians the conclusion of the author was that southern Italians thank their children very much and in the north they didn’t thank their children very much there was culture differences in these regions  Everything about us that mattered that we can judge people about has to be something after we were born some experience some exposure we had that’s what shapes our personality and our world views  People challenged this on the grounds and said if you looked at all kinds of different elements of human behavior was suggested had a genetic origin at least to some extent is shaped by things prior to birth  Genetic argument was controversial  Biological racism- women with blue eyes and blond hair were superior  Inheritable component in genetics this also applies to our religious groups and many other things  Research design was done called Twin studies- it was based on identical twins and non- identical twins and compared them by all kinds of different traits such questions like how strong are you in your religion what political party you vote for etc  Identical twins 100 of the genetic make up non identical twins share 50 percent from mother and father however its might be different so they share 25 percent of the genetic make up  If identical twins are more similar to each other on certain issues compare to non identical twins given that both groups share the same environment demographic background, same income background physical characteristics , racial characteristics that its must be genetic that the counting of the greater similarity for the identical twins  Interesting finding from iq scores, and political parties, religious commitment Identical twins are far more identical to each other than to non identical twins  Identical twins will be far more likely to be similar when they get older compared to non- identical twins  Its not a fear Things like inherited political party are genetically involved but simply the commitment to that party  So non identical twins raised in democratic home liberal or conservative or most likely to be like identical twins in a democratic liberal conservative home where they differ is in their similarity and intensity of commitment  Identical and non-identical twins are most likely to share the political party  Non identical twins might differ in the commitment but identical twins will be more similar in commitment  What we are committed too will mostly be our product of environment  Parents tend to share some common characteristics  Intensity in commitment appears to be somewhat comparable but what your committed to is something very different which leads into socialization and learning  Socialization learning so we learn stuff from our parents we learn stuff from our teachers and what we learn shapes our previous positions later in life  One of the real critical argument in socialization hypothesis the idea that people progress through different stages in life cycle and at certain stages of the life cycle were very accessible to the influences around us when we move around in the life cycle that accessibility turns off  The old cliché here is that we can teach a old dog a new trick  As a children we believe everything our parents teach us and once we get older we progressively become to believe of less of what our parents tell us  The things that we acquire the knowledge that we acquire tend to become crystalized and persist throughout the lifecycle  The stuff you believe when your 12 will have a big impact on the stuff you believe in when your 55  This has all kind of implications you can think of religion, you were raised in a particular religion, you acquired that religion when you were young and for the rest of your life you might abandon it theres a good chance you will come back to it  You will meet people that don’t believe anything when they feel criticism towards their religious group they belong they get angry  Sometimes these pervious position might persist throughout the lifecycle in some cases in our best efforts to change them  Notion of socialization hypothesis – idea of generation- think for an example between young people and old people in 2 different ways one is that old people were once like young people  Young people are more overwhelming liberal and old people are seen to be more conservative  The argument here is that as we get older and older we become more conservative more different things  When you become a father and you have a daughter you tend to see the world in a more traditional moral view than you might of when your younger  Another argument is that we are more likely to be acceptable to our environment when we are younger and the differences between young people in the environment they’re exposed tend generate stable persistent differences that persist evenly in life  For example growing up in poverty or war you’re heavily influenced by this insecure environment even in later in life when everything gets better the experiences they you were socialized to when you were younger persist with you even with good times  If you’re raised in good times not worrying about losing your money or being hungry if you experience bad times in the future the argument here is that your nonetheless you will keep the previous position that your required when you were younger  For example when you go
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