Essay On Public Opinion

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Public opinion is defined as a comprehensive collection of people’s views, beliefs and attitudes about a specific issue expressed by a considerable section of a society. While the American political scientist, Valdimer Orlando Key ascribed public opinion as “opinions held by private persons which governments find it prudent to heed to” in 1961, it has been evidenced that public opinion is a major force which is not limited only to elections and politics but it is a power to be reckoned in fields such as fashion, culture, arts, cinema, finance and expenses, marketing and public relations. Public opinion can make or break the reputation or even the future of an individual, a product or a service provider. To consider an event or occurrence as public opinion, the following requisitions must be fulfilled: 1. there has to be an issue, 2. a significant number of persons should express their opinions on the matter, 3. there is need for at least a partial consensus of opinions, 4. the consensus should wield influence directly or indirectly. In contrast, politicians and…show more content…
This theory is pertinent to circumstances relating to the formation of attitudes as well as decisions involving change in behaviour. Cognition is a term encompassing knowledge, idea, belief or emotion while dissonance refers to facing new information that contradicts the knowledge, idea, belief or emotion one already holds and consequently creating psychological distress for the individual. According to Festinger, people use different mental manoeuvre to resolve conflicts and a general way to lessen dissonance is to amplify the attractiveness of the selected option while diminishing the attractiveness of the unattainable alternative. This is well-illustrated in the story of the fox who decided that the grapes were sour only because he could not reach
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