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Monica Farfan Torrye Zullo

Political Psychology 346

20 September 2016

Introduction: Baldassarri and Goldberg begin by stating that most research on public
opinion assumes that American political views are structures by a belief system with a
liberal conservative polarity. Polarity is the state of having two opposite or contradictory
tendencies, opinions, or aspects. In the recommended article written they document
systematic heterogeneity in the organization of political attitudes and explain the
sociodemographic profile of the different respondents.

Research/Assignment: Baldassarri and Goldberg use RCA, Relational Class Analysis,

which is a network-based method for detecting heterogeneity in collective patterns of
opinion, to identify the different belief networks, shared by a different group of

Analysis/ Experimenting: They analyze the respondents sociodemographic profiles, their

income, education, and religiosity. The researchers took 3 different groups of respondents
to experiment their different political views over a 20 year period of time.

Finding: According to this recommended article citizens greatly differ in their levels of
political sophistication, they find that most citizens are innocent of ideology, but the
validity of these findings hasnt been challenged on empirical grounds, the results prove
that they are stable over time and across cultures. During the last 2 decades the authors
find that there is the high possibility that people make up their minds in different ways.
There next finding was that they were moving a step forward in 2 major respects.
1. Coexistence of multiple belief system
2. Show peoples social identities implicated in generating belief system
The authors analyzed 3 different groups of respondents ideologues, who organize their
political attitudes according to the prevalent liberal-conservative polarity, alternatives:
who exhibit a dissociation between moral and economic attitudes they may be morally
conservative and economically liberal, or vice versa, and agnostics: who exhibit only
weak associations among political beliefs. They established the consistency
of this partition over time, and its capacity to distinguish respondents
according to their level of political sophistication. They show that that
the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and
individual preferences on political issues in contingent on the belief
system which individuals subscribe, next they find that Alternatives
heterodox pattern of views, in which opinions that are normallu
considered conservative combine with those considered liveral, is the
by product of tension between conflicting identities and political