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Political Information Efficacy and News Consumption in Young Citizens


Relationship of PIE to Young Citizens' News Exposure ... ABC News Web site .10. NBC News Web site .10. CBS News Web site .02. FOX News Web site .09 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political Information Efficacy and News Consumption in Young Citizens

Political Information Efficacy and News
Consumption in Young Citizens
  • Lynda Lee Kaid
  • University of Florida

Youth Indifference to News Conference University
of Georgia October 8-11, 2006
  • Effects of young citizens lack of interest in
    news and political information and its effects on
    political involvementvoter turnout and other
    aspects of civic participation.

  • Despite increases in turnout for all voter groups
    in 2004, our young citizens remain our most
    care-less citizens.
  • Generational and life-cycle patterns that have
    usually led to adopting the voting habit as more
    mature adults may be lacking in current

Low Information Levels and Low Involvement
  • Knowledge is an important determinant of
    electoral and democratic participation (Delli
    Carpini Keeter, 1996).
  • A strong relationship between young voters'
    perceptions or confidence in their political
    knowledge and the likelihood that they will
    exercise their right to vote.

Political Information Efficacy (PIE)
  • Extent to which one has confidence that they have
    the information necessary to participate in
    politics or to vote (Kaid, McKinney, Tedesco,

Theory of PIE
  • 1. Theoretical Underpinnings
  • 2. How we measure it
  • 3. What evidence we have found for it.
  • 4. How it relates to consumption and processing
    of various types of communication and media,
    particularly news.

Theoretical Underpinnings of PIE
  • External political efficacy relates to beliefs
    about the responsiveness of governmental
    authorities and institutions to citizens
  • Internal political efficacy, is manifested in
    beliefs about ones own competence to
    understand, and to participate effectively in,
  • (Niemi, Craig, Mattei, 1991, p. 1407)

  • Political information efficacy is closely
    related to internal efficacy but differs in that
    it focuses solely on the voter's confidence in
    his/her own political knowledge and its
    sufficiency to engage the political process (and
    to vote).
  • Focuses on the Cognitive Elements of Efficacy

Measurement of PIE
  • 4 item scale uses 3 from Niemi et al.5 pt.
  • 1 I consider myself well-qualified to participate
    in politics.
  • 2. I think that I am better informed about
    politics and government than most people.
  • 3. I feel that I have a pretty good understanding
    of the important political issues facing our
  • 4. If a friend asked me about the presidential
    election, I feel would have enough information
    to help my friend
  • figure out who to vote for.

Testing the Scale in 2004
  • Used in 2004 in experimental studies of campaign
    message effects with young voters in our UVote
    team locations (more than 20 universities around
    the country) with 3269 respondents.
  • In all six experimental waves, a series of 12
    items were used to measure aspects of political
    trust and efficacy.

Post-Election Analysis
  • 1. Factor analysis shows that the 4 items in
    our PIE scale always separate into a unique
    factor which accounts for a substantial amount
    of the variance in all of the tests.
  • 2. When used together as a scale, these 4 items
    consistently achieve high Cronbachs alpha
    reliability scores ranging from .81 to .92.

Evidence for Impact of PIE on Voting and Nonvoting
  • Prior to 2004 our earlier research in 2000 and
    2002 we have demonstrated two important things
    related to the PIE concept
  • With NES data and results from our nationwide
    experimental studies in 2000 we found that there
    are clear differences between younger and older
    voters in their levels of confidence in their
    knowledge and information and in their
    consumption of political news (Table 1).

  • Using NES data in 2000 and 2002, our regression
    models show that this significantly lower level
    of information confidence in young people has a
    significant relationship to voting or not voting,
    accounting for 6 of the variance in voting in
    2000 and almost 10 of the variance in voting in

Influence of Communication and Media on PIE in
  • 1. TV Ads After exposure to TV ads, young
    citizens were significantly more confident that
    they had the information they needed for
    political participation/voting.
  • (Kaid, Hendren, Yun, Landreville, Postelnicu,
    2005 Kaid, Landreville, Postelnicu, Martin,
    2005 Kaid Postelnicu, 2005 Kaid, Postelnicu,
    Landreville, LeGrange, 2006-forthcoming)

  • 2. TV Debates Debate viewing in 2004 produced
    significant increases in political information
    efficacy for a panel of young citizens who were
    exposed to one of the three presidential debates
    in 2004.
  • (McKinney Chattopadhyay, 2006-forthcoming).

  • 3. Internet Interactive features of the Web
    can have a significant impact on young citizens
    confidence in their political knowledge and
  • (Tedesco, 2006)

Relationship of PIE to Young Citizens News
  • 2598 young citizens who participated in one of 4
    experimental groups at more than 20 UVote
    universities in the U.S. in the fall of 2004.
  • 1. First ad experiment (n 920) Sept. 28-30
  • 2. Saw First Presidential Debate (n 570) Sept.
  • 3. Saw Third Presidential Debate (n 358) Oct.
  • 4. Second ad experiment (n 747) Oct. 30-31

Characteristics of Sample
  • Gender 42 male 58 female
  • Age average 20.4
  • Party ID 39 Democrats 37 Republican
  • 19 Independent 4 Greens 1 none
  • Race 68 White/Caucasian 12 Hispanic
  • 7 Asian 6 African-Amer. 7 mixed or other

Young Citizens Characteristics and PIE
  • PIE Level
  • Gender
  • Male 14.34
  • Female 13.09
  • Party Affiliation
  • Republican 13.82 vs. Indep.
  • Democrat 13.82 vs. Indep.
  • Independent 13.01
  • Race
  • White/Caucasian 13.89
  • Minority 13.07
  • African-Am 13.60 Caucasian and African-Am not
    sign. diff
  • Hispanic 13.28 Hispanics not diff. from
    African-Am. but significantly lower than
  • Asian 11.62 Asians significantly lower than
    all other groups

Predictors of PIE for Young Citizens in 2004
  • 1. Interest in Presid. Campaign
  • 2. Level of Media Exposure about
  • the Campaign in Last Week
  • 3. Information from News and Nonpartisan
    Sources on Internet
  • 4. --Female

  • 5. Days a Week Watching National
  • Network News
  • 6. Watched All Three Presid. Debates
  • 7. --Watching News on Local TV
  • 8. --Hours a Day Spent on the Internet
  • 9. Listening to Political Talk Radio
  • Forward Multiple Linear Regression R2 .48
  • (Controlled for Political Party ID, Race,
    Newspaper exposure, speaking with others, radio
    news, watching the Daily Show)

PIE and Voting in 2004
  • Post-election Web Survey of 227 young citizens
    who participated in one of the experimental
    sessions during 2004
  • Voted Did not vote
  • Information Efficacy Level 15.67 13.88
  • p

Internet News and PIE
  • Correlation between PIE and frequency of turning
    to WWW to decide how to vote R .25
  • Correlations between Information Efficacy Level
    and Usefulness of Information Sources on Web
  • George Bushs Web site .17
  • John Kerrys Web site .23
  • ABC News Web site .10
  • NBC News Web site .10
  • CBS News Web site .02
  • FOX News Web site .09
  • CNN News Web site .21
  • USA Today News Web site .10
  • NYT News Web site .18
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