The supreme court and opinion change: An Experimental Study of the Court's Ability to Change Opinion

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Abstract

In this study the author examines the extent to which the Supreme Court acts as an opinion leader through its ability to induce attitude change. The author employs an experimental design with liberal and conservative rulings on one economic and one civil liberties issue, comparing the influence of the Supreme Court, Congress, and a nonpartisan think tank as sources of policies. The design was chosen in an attempt to eliminate outside sources of influence and to determine better the Supreme Court's ability to cause change in opinion. The results demonstrate that under some circumstances the Court can indeed influence opinion in the direction of its rulings, especially for those who regard the Court positively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-129
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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