Reading Notes Ch.9 Comm 2322

Public Opinion and Persuasion

American talk about public opinion as if it were a monolithic entity overshadowing the entire landscape. Public opinion is the sum of the individuals opinions on an issue affecting those individuals. Public opinion is a collection of views held by persons interested in the subject.

Opinion Leaders described by sociologists are:

  1. highly interested in a subject or issue
  2. better informed on an issue than the average person
  3. avid consumers of mass media
  4. early adopters of new ideas
  5. good organizers who can get other people to take action.

Types of Leaders

  • formal opinion leaders
  • informational opinion leaders

Role of Mass Media

  • Agenda-Setting Theory
  • Media-Dependency Theory
  • Framing Theory
  • Conflict Theory

8 Basic appeals that people are motivated by are:

  1. power
  2. respect
  3. well-being
  4. affection
  5. wealth
  6. skill
  7. enlightenment
  8. physical and mental vitality

Suggestions for Action

  • Energy kit. A telephone hotline was established and widely publicized so interested customers could order an energy kit detailing what the average homeowner could do to reduce energy use.
  • Service bureau. The company, at no charge, sent representatives to homes to check the efficiency of water heaters and furnaces, measure the amount of insulation, and check doors and windows for drafts.
  • ZIP. The cost of making a home more energy efficient was funded by zero-interest loans to any qualified customer.

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