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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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Measuring Political Interest

Measuring Political Interest

(p.137) Chapter 9 Measuring Political Interest
Improving Public Opinion Surveys

Danielle Shani

Princeton University Press

This chapter addresses the measurement of citizens' interest in politics. To make progress in understanding citizens' interest in politics, its causes, and its consequences, one must be equipped with an adequate measure of the underlying concept. The 2006 Pilot Study tested three new items that attempted to improve upon current ANES measures of interest in politics and attention to politics. The chapter compares these measures to determine whether the proposed items add anything distinctive to the study of political learning and participation, whether the magnitude of the differences are sizable, and whether they reflect prior hypotheses. Overall, the chapter concludes that the existing NES measures perform as well as the alternatives carried on the pilot, but nonetheless, it suggests how we might improve upon the current measures.

Keywords:   political interest, citizens, political attention

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