Video: Luntz Focus Group on Palin
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
A few things are interesting about this clip showing a focus group run by Frank Luntz with Minnesota voters on behalf of the AARP. First, when Luntz asks the participants to name the first things that come to mind about Palin, you notice that no one mentions issues or her stand on them whether it is climate change, abortion, stem cell research, taxes etc.
Instead, with the miserly public, the first thing that comes to mind are aspects of her personal narrative and identity. Moreover, the metaphors and frame devices that have dominated the campaign to date are applied to Palin to make sense of her choice. As one focus group participant says: "She's not ready for the 3AM phone call."
As another female participant who was leaning towards McCain says: "Raising five kids in the White House, if need be....she's a mother than not a president."
Second, as is clear from this focus group, the celebrity of Palin and her influence on independent voters is not a slam dunk. In fact, as recent polls show, Palin if anything is a base mobilizer on the right and the left, and her impact on undecideds remains unclear.
Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.