Graphical representations of political issues and economic trends are an increasingly popular means of conveying information to the public. However, graphs have the potential to shape public opinion by visually emphasizing or downplaying the information they convey. I randomly assign subjects to view graphs that represent the same underlying information but that differ in relative emphasis: one is consistent with a textual account of rising inequality, while the other de-emphasizes the same information by increasing the scale of the Y-axis. My results indicate the graphical frames provide powerful contextual cues: for Republicans and conservatives, exposure to the de-emphasizing graph results in a 40% decrease in expressed support for intervention against inequality relative to Republicans and conservatives in the control condition, despite the fact that both groups read the same textual information. My findings reveal how an increasingly important and unexamined form of political communication affects public opinion, also suggesting promising avenues for future research.
Agency accreditation has grown steadily as a management strategy in recent decades. Accreditation is meant to help professionalize public administration work by requiring an agency to adopt policies and practices that are sanctioned by an external organization. Advocates claim that accreditation facilitates the diffusion of best practices and builds a culture of professionalism in an agency. Accreditation clearly leads agencies to adopt formal policies. This article identifies two ways in which accreditation might affect organizational culture: (1) by socializing employees, and (2) by signaling the agency’s priorities to employees. Analyzing attitudinal data from officers in six American police departments, this study finds no association between accreditation and officers’ own values, but finds that accreditation is strongly correlated with officers’ perceptions of their agencies’ priorities
Professional organizations now accredit state and local agencies across several fields. This article investigates the attitudes of street-level bureaucrats toward their agencies and the tasks required of them in accredited and nonaccredited agencies. If accreditation changes bureaucratic attitudes in ways that build a sense of mission or shape functional preferences, it could lead to more effective public service delivery. The empirical subjects of this study are American municipal police departments and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Analysis of quasi-experimental data from a survey of officers suggests that accreditation helps build a sense of mission at the street level but finds little evidence of an effect on functional preferences.