Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 2006 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association and the 2005 meeting of the American Political Science Association. We thank Jim Kuklinski, Jeff Mondak, Katherine Cramer Walsh, Rosie Clawson, Andy Baker, Marianne Stewart, and anonymous AJPS reviewers for constructive comments.
Opinion Taking within Friendship Networks
Article first published online: 4 APR 2008
©2008, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 412–420, April 2008
How to Cite
Parker, S. L., Parker, G. R. and McCann, J. A. (2008), Opinion Taking within Friendship Networks. American Journal of Political Science, 52: 412–420. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00320.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 4 APR 2008
Communication within friendship networks can provide gains in efficiency that help individuals enrich their understanding of politics. Through two panel survey experiments, we demonstrate that the dissemination of an individual's opinion about the hazards posed by public policies can have both durable and significant effects on the policy judgments of friends. These effects are conditioned by both the content of the communication and the recipient's level of political awareness. Opinions emphasizing potential risks carry more weight than those that attempt to alleviate concerns about potential risks. Moreover, opinion transmission is more effective for subjects who are less politically aware when policy issues are salient; but when the political issue is more esoteric, friends who are more politically aware evidence greater opinion change.