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Improving Public Opinion SurveysInterdisciplinary Innovation and the American National Election Studies$
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John H. Aldrich and Kathleen M. McGraw

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151458

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151458.001.0001

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An Alternative Measure of Political Trust

An Alternative Measure of Political Trust

Reconciling Theory and Practice

(p.117) Chapter 8 An Alternative Measure of Political Trust
Improving Public Opinion Surveys

Joseph Gershtenson

Dennis L. Plane

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents a critique of the standard ANES political trust question, and proposes a percentage measure as an alternative. Given the wide-ranging consequences of political trust, there is understandably a considerable body of scholarly work outlining the determinants of trust. Despite this attention, there remains no consensus on how to measure the underlying concept. The chapter seeks to address this by first analyzing the flaws in the ANES trust question and then using an alternative trust item included on the 2006 ANES Pilot Study to assess different trust measures. These analyses indicate that while neither trust indicator predicts turnout nor vote choice, the percentage measure outperforms the standard trust question in predicting policy attitudes.

Keywords:   trust, political trust, trust question, percentage measure, trust determinants, trust measures, policy attitudes

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