Research Repository

Accentuating the Negative?

Scotto, Thomas and Kornberg, Allan and Clarke, Harold D (2010) 'Accentuating the Negative?' Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 6 (3). pp. 107-117. ISSN 1614-1881

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Survey research on political efficacy is longstanding. In a number of countries efficacy has been measured using batteries of negatively worded “agree-disagree” statements. In this paper, we investigate the measurement properties of the Canadian variant of this traditional battery and compare its performance with an alternative, positively worded, battery. The research is based on data gathered by a random half-sample experiment administered in the 2004 Political Support in Canada national panel survey. Analyses of these data provide no evidence that negatively framing the statements designed to tap political efficacy is problematic. Rather, it appears that students of political efficacy would have been worse off if they had spent the past several decades conducting analyses employing positively worded variants of the traditional statements. Perhaps most important, scholars have not been misled by acquiescence bias depressing efficacious responses to the traditional battery. These experimental results indicate that widespread political inefficacy in contemporary democracies is a fact, not an artifact.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: political efficacy; question-wording, negative and positive wording; national panel survey; random half sample experiment; confirmatory factor analysis
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 06:23
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 06:23

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