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Public Opinion

The word public is generally used to refer to a large group of people. It is sometimes used as synonymous with crowd. The members of the public need not collect together in one place.

They may be dispersed and not know each other. According to Parker and Anderson a public is that form of collectivity that includes a number of dispersed and non-organized individuals who are faced with an issue about which there may be differences of opinion.

According to Kimball Young," An opinion is a belief somewhat stronger or more intense than a mere notion or impression but less stronger than positive knowledge based on complete or adequate proof. Opinions are really beliefs that one held on issues. Opinion implies careful thought and consideration. It is based on some kind of information or evidence. It is not necessary that opinion should always be correct.

According to John Dewey public opinion is judgment that is formed and entertained by those who constitute the public and is about public affairs. Morris Ginsberg says by public opinion is meant the mass of ideas and judgments operative in a community which are more or less definitely formulated and have a certain stability and are felt by the people who entertain or hold them to be social in the sense that they are result of many minds acting in common.

Public opinion is concerned with a matter of public importance .It is not concerned with the interests of a particular group of people. Public opinion is for social welfare. The welfare of society is an essential characteristic of public opinion. Public opinion is arrived at after careful thought. It is the tentative deliberative adjustment of public to a situation. It is the logical view of things. It is a cooperative product. Public opinion is related to a particular age or times. It is to be evaluated in the context of a particular situation. Public opinion has a cultural base. The culture of a society influences public opinion.

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