Philip Converse

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Philip Ernest Converse (November 17, 1928 – December 30, 2014) was an American political scientist.[1] He was a professor emeritus in political science at the University of Michigan (PhD 1958), was a seminal figure in the field of public opinion, and was the younger brother of Connie Converse, one of the earliest-known practitioners of the singer-songwriter genre of popular music. His article "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics" (Ideology and Discontent, edited by David E. Apter, 1964) held that public opinion tended to be not very consistent across issues, not very stable over time, and not very understanding of ideology. With Angus Campbell, Warren Miller, and Donald Stokes, he co-wrote The American Voter,[2] an instrumental work of political science using data from the American National Election Studies, a set of important surveys of American public opinion carried out by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and the Center for Political Studies. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1969.[1][3] He died of lung disease on December 30, 2014, aged 86.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, David (15 June 1960). "Over-Rated Independent Voter Is Not the Best Informed". St. Petersburg Independent. p. 4A. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ John Sides (January 6, 2015). "The political scientist Philip Converse has died". 
  4. ^