Issue Evolution: A Data-Driven Learning Guide (ICPSR 301)

Principal Investigator(s): Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


Data-Driven Learning Guides are a collection of instructional exercises that can be used to enhance teaching of core concepts in the social sciences. This learning guide investigates the process of issue evolution by comparing partisan boundaries across several issues. Issue evolution refers to the process by which issues are introduced to the political realm and eventually become defined along partisan lines. The specific issues to be examined in this exercise concern the privatization of Social Security, the death penalty, same sex relationship rights, and stem cell research. Research questions that can be explored using this learning guide include: which political issues in the United States have "evolved" and which are still in the process of "evolving", why some political issues may evolve faster than others, how voters learn about party elites' positions on these political issues, and whether citizens ever diverge on the political issues before party elites. Crosstabulation and coefficients are used for the analyses.

Access Notes

Study Description

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    instructional materials, political issues, political partisanship, social sciences

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Data Collection Notes:

Other Data-Driven Learning Guides covering such topics as aging, gender, race, social class, politics, and health are available on ICPSR's Online Learning Center .