Is Political Interest Absolute or Relative?
24 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
An individual’s level of interest in politics has both normative and empirical relevance. Normatively, interest in politics is a component of the definition of a democratic citizen; empirically, interest in politics is a broadly used predictor of political participation. Despite this importance there has been little systematic reflection about how it should be measured, and especially about how to minimize social desirability biases that may prevent some people from admitting a lack of interest. In this paper we present different ways of measuring political interest and validate these measures by using them to predict standard measures of political participation. In this paper we determine whether asking respondents how interested they are in politics compared to other domains produces different results.
Keywords: interest in politics, attitudes measure, survey methods
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation