The Constitution in the Public Mind: New Perspectives

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Larry R. Baas
James Paul Old
James C. Rhoads


Scholars have long held that the Constitution occupies a sacred and reverent place in the public mind. Recent research tracking respondents across a 45-year period reports that almost all of these persons either continued to hold a mythical view of the Constitution or switched to this viewpoint later in life. These results are important and tell us how a group of mature individuals (their average age was 66) currently view the Constitution and how these views changed across time, but they don’t address what the Constitution might mean to young adults today who have grown up in a much different political environment. The current study, using the same Q sample as that in the longitudinal studies referred to, provides answers to that question, and examines the beliefs about the Constitution of a cohort of younger adults. The results indicate a good deal of similarity to the results of previous research, but some noteworthy differences.

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How to Cite
Baas, L. R. ., Old, J. P. ., & Rhoads, J. C. . (2023). The Constitution in the Public Mind: New Perspectives. Operant Subjectivity, 44.

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