Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views.
The principle approaches to the study of public opinion may be divided into 4 categories:
The rapid spread of public opinion measurement around the world is reflection of the number of uses to which it can be put. Public opinion can be accurately obtained through a random sample survey, if done correctly. Governments have increasingly found surveys to be useful tools for guiding their public policies. The US Department of Agriculture was one of the first government agencies to sponsor systematic and large scale surveys. It was followed by many other federal bodies, including the US information agency which has conducted opinion research in all parts of the world.
Public opinion can be influenced by public relations and the political media. Additionally, mass media utilizes a wide variety of advertising techniques to get their message out and change the minds of people.
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