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September 14, 1962 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-09-14

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. .


SRC To Study Public Attitudes.

Study Views Kennedy-Nixon Debates


The United States Office of Ed-
ucation has provided $57,983 to
support an investigation of public
attitudes toward higher education
by the Institute for Social Re-
Prof. Angus Campbell, director
of the Institute's Survey Research
Center, is in charge of the exam-
ination of "Public Concepts of the
Costs and Utility of Higher Edu-
cation," a 15-month project to ex-
tend through Oct. 31, 1963.
The study will examine the
problems of public understanding
of the situation of the nation's
colleges and universities. The SRC
is interested in knowing how peo-
ple see the world of education,
what their values are regarding
education, and how they assess
the alternatives presented to them.
To Gather Information
"The study proposes to gather
definitive information from the
public concerning their concepts
of the costs and values of higher
education. In a period of rapid
population growth, economic de-
velopment and change in basic so-
cial values, a realistic appraisal of
the public's understanding and

Sunday, September

evaluation of educational prob-
lems becomes more than ordinari-
ly valuable," the abstract for the
grant said.
The first-level objectives of the
program are to determine what
are public concepts of the person-
al value of highereducation?
What is public understanding of
the problem of student demand
and institutional limitations?
What are public understanding
and attitudes toward the financ-
ing of higher education? What are
publicintentions regarding high-
er education of their own chil-
dren? How do attitudes toward
higher education relate to atti-
tudes toward public education at
the pre-college level? And how do
these perceptions, concepts, atti-
tudes and intentions differ in the
major segments of the population?
Probability Sample
The study would be based on a
probability sample of the adult
population living in private house-
holds in 75 cities in the continen-
tal United States, with a sample
of some 1,350 adults chosen by
probability. It would be conducted
by the staff of the SRC and would


be administered as a part of one
of the Center's quarterly surveys
of the national population.
It would be using an interview
form, requiring approximately a
half-hour to complete, and using
both free-answer and fixed alter-
native questions, as the basis of
the data-gathering.
In addition to Dr. Campbell,
Prof. John B. Lansing of the econ-
omics department and Prof. Ste-
phen B. Withey of the Psychology
department are affiliated with the
Name Hayes
As Preside nt
Prof. Samuel Hayes of the eco-
nomics department has been nam-
ed president of the Foreign Policy
Association effective this month.
The association's main work in-
volves the development of discus-
sion on important foreign policy
issues through community groups.
The association has sponsored the
Great Decisions series in recent
years to further their aim.

The 1960 Nixon-Kennedy de-
bates had major effects - both
good and bad-on the outcome of
the 1960 presidential elections, the
1964 elections and the state of
American politics, a recent study{
by the Fund for the Republic's
Center for the Study of Demo-
cratic Institutions indicated.
The study, a series of papers by
reporter Earl Mazo, former Eisen-
hower speech writer Malcolm Moos
and Center researchers Hallock
Hoffman and Harvey Wheeler,
viewed the various political and so-
ciological aspects of the debates.
The four agreed that the de-
bates had been of immeasurable
help to the then Sen. John F.
Kennedy who, in terms of hs po-
litical image, was then an un-
Would Nixon Win?
"If there had been no debates
on television (the then Vice -Presi-
dent Richard M.) Nixon would
have been elected.President." Mazo
He cited Kennedy's laciuster
showing in previous campaigning
and the optimism of the Nixon
camp, especially after the candi-
date's successful first s w i n g
through the normally Democratic
"The first Kennedy-Nixon en-
counter on Sept. 26, 1960, was un-
questionably the most consequen-
tial. Kennedy was so effective in
conveying what the trade calls an
"image of maturity'" in his first try
that the three debates that fol-
lowed were anti-climactic-impor-
tant only to the extent that Ken-
nedy felt compelled to keep on
his toes and maintain the advan-
tage that his private polls showed
him to have 'gained at the start,"
Mazo explained.
Rising Suburbs
Wheeler noted that Kennedy in
the debates noted the rise of the
suburbs. "The evidence from polls
indicates that the unusually high
number of "undecideds" were
largely concentrated among the
white collar groups.
"If Nixon had made a clearly
superior image in the first de-
bate, it is likely he would have
reaped the advantages of televi-
sion's white collar bias. But the
fact he did not may have tended
to randomize the distribution of
white collar votes between the two

Moos and Mazo warned in the
report about the dangers of re-
peating such debates in 1964. They
cite the danger that a haphazard
remark, uttered in the heat of de-
bate by the President, may seri-
ously damage American foreign
Sensitive Areas
"There are sensitive areas in-
volving the country's internation-
al commitments and national safe-
ty that might not be debated with-
out some risk of impairment of
the public interest.
"Conceivably a way might be de-
vised to rule some questions off
limits in these areas, yet any such
action would be certain to raise
a cry of 'foul'."
Mazo raised a number of sug-
gestions for improving the format
of future presidential debates.
One Issue
He urged that the first several
debates be limited to one or two
overriding issues, that the vice-
presidential candidates partici-
pate in at least one debate and
that 'a no-holds barred contest
with no one in between.
Wheeler took a different ap-
proach to improving the debates.
He urged split-screen rather than
face-to-face confrontation. Two
of the sessions would be debates'
while two would press conference
settings, adding economists and,
political scientists to the panel to
bring out the important issues.

Hoffman charged that the de-
bates have led to the personalia-
ing of campaigns. "It empties poli-
tics of meaning," he declared as
he cited the number of major is-
sues not discussed in the cans-
paign such as the arms race, the
rise of new nations, and the prob-
lems of technology.
All four writers laid much stress
on the importance of the image,
showing how Kennedy projected
better on television than on ra-
dio and how Nixon's physical ap-
pearance turned into a liability
before the television cameras.
Comparing a campaign of im-
ages with the Locke, Paine or Jef-
fersonian ideal of personal democ-
racy, Wheeler said "the new bu-
reaucratic masses are like the peo-
ple in Plato's. cave. They do not
perceive political reality directly,
they perceive appearances."
These appearances, Wheeler
pointed out, are created by the
television mechanism between the
speaker and the mass, but atom-
istic audience.
CBS President Frank Stanton,
objecting to Wheeler's criticism in
an Aug. 29 speech, replied, "These
declarations of the bankruptcy of
democracy seems to me premature
and fraudulent. Personality cults
are much less plausible now than
before mass communications and
the evidence for this is clear in the
most cursory examination of our


Scientists Refute Evidence
Dating Age of Man on Earth


Last spring two Johns Hopkins
University scientists, Dr. William
L. Straus Jr. and Dr. Charles, B.
Hunt, said they doubted the ac-
curacy of evidence that man is
1,750,000 years old.
Straus and Hunt questioned the
suitability of the earth samples
from which the age of the manlike
creature, Zinjanthropus Boisei
was estimated.
Zinjanthropus was discovered
by Prof. and Mrs. L. S. B. Leakey
of Oxford in an ancient lake bed
at Olduvai Gorge, Tanganyika, in
1958. Following the discovery Prof.

Leakey and a group from the Uni-
versity of California at Berkeley
announced that the creature was
on the same evolutionary line as
man and older by about 450,000
years than previously estimated
manlike fossils.
Illogical Proof
Straus and Hunt insist that this
dating shows illogical discrepan-
cies between and within the geo-
logical formations at Olduvai.
Prof. Frank B.. Livingstone of
the anthropology department, said
he agrees with Hunt and Straus.
He explained that the dating of
the bed by the California group
shows a higher level of the bed to
b~e older than a lower level which
makes the thesis doubtful.
Livingstone Presumes
Because the California group
took average dates there are dis-
crepancies, Prof. Livingstone said.
Prof. Livingstone pointed out
that in spite of the fact that the
dates disagree, the basic signifi-
cance of the discovery is not lost.
Zinjanthropus is probably the ear-
liest manlike creature we have.
The bed was dated by the po-
tassium argon dating method.
This method is new and is being
improved, Livingstone said.

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