Readings in American Politics

Readings In American Politics:
(9.2) Summary (Pg.340)
John R. Zaller,
The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion

Many voters go vote based on populous vote, etc, and they may not have enough information to actually make informed choices in elections. In this reading John R. Zaller proposes a model for how voters acquire information. In this model he argues that voters interchange in how they are receptive to new information depending on prior political knowledge and basically just in their levels of knowledge about politics in general. He suggests that some voters can become swayed by public discourse and on the other hand others stay firm in their attitudes and are not swayed.   The model itself as Zeller states consists of 4 different assertions, or axioms, about how individuals respond to political information they may encounter.
Zeller then proceeds to talk about how citizens acquire information and convert it into public opinion by two different phenomenons, the first being how citizens learn about matters that are for the most part beyond their immediate experience, and second how they convert the information they acquire into opinions. He begins the statement of the model with definitions, the first being consideration, second he defines two different types of political messages. The first message being persuasive messages which are arguments or images providing a reason for taking a position or point of view accepted by an individual, they become considerations. The second type of political messages he defines are cueing messages which are the second type of message carried in elite discoursem consist of “contextual information” about the ideological or partisan implications of a persuasive message.
In Zeller’s model he talks about four different assertions, or axioms the first being the Reception Axiom in which he says the greater a persons level of cognitive engagement is with a certain issue the more likely they are to be exposed and to...