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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides a review of scholarly literature on several questions about public and citizen opinion. It presents data from various public opinion surveys in order to illustrate the discussion. A detailed discussion of why the answers to an individual survey question can be considered meaningless is found in one section. The article shows that an analysis of many questions on policy issues can be combined to measure the ‘mood’ of the public on policy choices. The article ends with a discussion of how opinion moods change in response to government policies and an examination of the questions of how ‘rational’ these opinions are.

Keywords: public opinion, citizen opinion, public opinion surveys, individual survey question, policy issues, policy choices, opinion moods, government policies

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