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November 18, 2013
Objectives: Students will be able to
explain their Thesis/ Students will be able
to explain the purpose of interest groups.
Question: Explain how different news
stations can be biased.
 Agenda: Quiz 8.1/Worksheet 8.2
/Essential Question/CBA Thesis Due/2
more Evidence Sheets
Today Student Will (TSW):
Describe the importance of the roles interest
groups play in influencing the actions and
policies of government.
Warm Up:
You are a Curtis High School student who is
unhappy with the late hours of your school.
What might some of your options be as far as
influencing the existing person or group in
charge of changing those hours according
to your preference?
Interest Groups and
Public Opinion
Local, State, and National
Interest Groups
An interest group is a group of people who
share common goals and organize to
influence government.
These groups spend a great deal of money
and put a lot of effort into persuading
government officials to support bills or
policies the group feels will be beneficial.
Interest Groups are NOT Political
...They do not nominate candidates.
 …Only concerned with a few specific
issues and do not try to gain members
with different opinions.
 …Organized on the basis of common
values rather than on geographic location.
Why belong to an Interest Group?
Economic self-interest
Beliefs, values, and
Social reasons
***Most who join tend
to be from upper
income levels.
Types of Interest Groups
Business and Labor
Agricultural groups
represent farmers.
Environmental groups
Public Interest groups
Major Special Interest Groups
National Association for the Advancement
Advancement of
Colored People
American Federation of Labor-Congress of
Industrial Organization
American Medical Association http://www.ama
National Education Association
Purpose and Methods
of Interest Groups
Provide Americans with additional
 Seek to Inform the Public and Officials of
 Letter
Writing Campaigns
 Media Campaigns
Checking for Understanding
How are interest groups different from
political parties?
 What methods do interest groups use to
influence public policy?
 Why are interest groups more effective in
influencing the government than are
individual citizens?
Lobbying is the process of making direct
contact with government leaders in
attempt to influence policy.
Lobbyists are the representatives of
interest groups who conduct such work.
Political Action Committees
Another vehicle for interest groups to
influence government is through PACs.
 Organizations specifically designed to
collect money and provide financial
support for a political candidate.
 Pros and Cons?
Contributions to PACs
What has the general trend been in Total
PAC spending since 1978?
 By about how many dollars did PAC
spending increased between 1996-1998?
 By how much did the number of PACs
declined between 1996 and 1998?
 Which type of PAC spent the most $ in
Learning Log:
Do interest groups help make
representative government truly
“government by the people?” EXPLAIN!
Do you have any questions or comments
on this topic?
Examine political ads in order to identify
techniques used by politicians and the
media to influence public opinion
Warm Up:
Take a copy of the handout titled:
“Wanda’s Adventures in Government”
 Use vocabulary from last class to fill in the
 Write your answers under “warm up” in
your journal.
Mass Media
Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, recordings,
movies, and books
AKA—”The Fourth Branch of Government”
Strategic methods in influencing public opinion—the
ideas and attitudes a significant number of Americans
hold about government and political issues
Media in Political Campaigns
Candidates use the
media to creatively
persuade people’s
opinions of
themselves and
 Ads costs lots of $
 Candidates spend
lots of time raising
money to fund the
expensive ads
Propaganda Techniques
(page 496 in text)
Testimonial: Celebrity endorsement
Mudslinging: negative ad
Transfer: using symbols to create negative attitude
toward opponent
Card Stacking: use of stats & one-sided info to
make opponent look bad
More Propaganda Techniques…
Plain Folks: attempt to appeal as “one of the
Glittering Generalities: introduce candidate to
people with positive & broad words/phrases
Contrast Ad: Compare positive images of
candidate with negative images of opponent in
same ad
Your Turn….
In small groups, you will write & record a 30 second
political radio ad for a presidential candidate of your
choice that uses at least one of the campaign
advertising strategies we learned today.
Your group needs a written script to receive full
credit— the script needs to explain which advertising
strategies you use.
Your group needs to practice a few times before
recording and Be Creative!!
Learning Log:
How much of an influence do you think the
media really has over people’s decisions?
Can you think of any examples from your
daily life when the media had an effect on
something you did?
Ideology and Public Opinion
Political Ideology effects how an individual
approaches issues in public policy.
 Liberal—believes gov’t should actively
promote health, education, and justice
 Conservative—believes in limiting the role
of gov’t except in supporting traditional
moral values
 Moderates—fall somewhere in the middle
Measuring Public Opinion
Political Party membership
 Participation in Interest Groups
 Responses to Mass Media
 Letter Writing Volume
 Electronic Access
 ***Scientific Polling***
Why do we care about interest groups and
public opinion? Because research shows
that the government is indeed responsive
to the desires of the public.
Interest groups, political parties, mass media
and the public opinion all weigh heavily on
government officials when designing
public policy.