America, post 9/11 :an assessment of student attitudes on individual rights, liberty and the war on terror


Tanksley, Richard B.. (2006). America, post 9/11 :an assessment of student attitudes on individual rights, liberty and the war on terror. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

America, post 9/11 :an assessment of student attitudes on individual rights, liberty and the war on terror
Tanksley, Richard B.
War on Terrorism 2001-2009--Public opinion Students--Northwestern States--Attitudes Students--Political activity--Northwestern States Liberty--Public opinion National security--United States--Public opinion
Political Science
The war on terror, like many other historical American wars, has brought about various policy changes. Particularly, foreign policy measures, homeland security, personal liberty issues and treatment of aliens have all experienced transformations. This research examines such transformations through surveying the attitudes and personal characteristics of students from the northwestern United States. Discriminant functions are employed to describe the directions of the means, and to predict two possible categories for group membership for each of the following eight questions: (1) How familiar are you with the Patriot Act? (2) Are you willing to give up some rights for more security? (3) Is secret surveillance appropriate for national security? (4) Should government have access to library records? (5) Is the current political climate accommodating to dissent? (6) Should police profile according to national origin? (7) Do you support a preemptive invasion of Iraq? and (8) Do you support U.S. involvement in the United Nations? For each question, a continuum representing opposites such as support or opposition was designed. Particular responses placed students in one of two groups for each question. Various theories and analysis including but not limited to prospect theory, terror management theory and right wing authoritarianism, were utilized beforehand to predict the various relationships between variables. Overall, approximately 40 discriminating variables were examined for identifying influences on each of the eight questions. In general, means from each discriminating variable were found to be in the direction as predicted. Additionally, regression was employed using additive indexes to show correlates for the dependent variables formed from the eight questions above. All regressions and predictions of group membership for each of the eight dependent variables showed modest to robust correlations. Overall, this research analyzes student predispositions and shows how they act to form judgments on important attitudes related to Post 9/11 policies and trends. Such judgments are discussed in terms of a tradeoff between rights and security and in terms of the major role that public opinion plays in the formulation and execution of governmental policy.
Thesis (Ph. D., Political Science)--University of Idaho, December 2006.
Major Professor:
Jack E. Vincent.
Defense Date:
December 2006.
Format Original:
xi, 137 leaves :ill. ;29 cm.

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