Lupia, Arthur and Prior, Markus (2005): What Citizens Know Depends on How You Ask Them: Political Knowledge and Political Learning Skills.
Download (116kB) | Preview
Surveys provide widely-cited measures of political knowledge. Do unusual aspects of survey interviews reduce their relevance? To address this question, we embedded a set of experiments in a representative survey of over 1200 Americans. A control group answered political knowledge questions in a typical survey context. Respondents in treatment groups received the same questions in different contexts. One group received a monetary incentive for answering questions correctly. Others were given more time to answer the questions. The treatments increase the number of correct answers by 11-24 percent. Our findings imply that conventional knowledge measures confound respondents’ recall of political information and their motivation to engage the survey question. The measures also provide unreliable assessments of respondents’ abilities to access information that they have stored in places other than their immediately available memories. As a result, existing knowledge measures likely underestimate peoples’ capacities for informed decision making.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||What Citizens Know Depends on How You Ask Them: Political Knowledge and Political Learning Skills|
|Keywords:||political knowledge; economic knowledge; experimental economics; incentives; survey|
|Subjects:||H - Public Economics > H3 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents > H30 - General
H - Public Economics > H3 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents > H31 - Household
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C90 - General
|Depositing User:||Arthur Lupia|
|Date Deposited:||04 Oct 2006|
|Last Modified:||28 Nov 2016 06:29|
Bassi, Anna, Rebecca Morton, and Kenneth Williams. 2006. “Incentives, Complexity, and Motivations in Experiments.” Presented at the 2006 Annual Summer Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology held at the University of California, Davis. Blair, Edward A., and Scot Burton. 1987. Cognitive Processes Used by Survey Respondents to Answer Behavioral Frequency Questions. Journal of Consumer Research 14:280-288. Camerer, Colin F., and Robin M. Hogarth. 1999. The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 19:7-42. Converse, Philip E. 1964. The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics. In Ideology and Discontent, edited by David E. Apter (pp. New York: Free Press. Delli Carpini, Michael X., and Scott Keeter. 1996. What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters. New Haven: Yale University Press. Graber, Doris A. 2001. Processing Politics: Learning from Television in the Internet Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kandel, Eric R., James H. Schwartz, and Thomas M. Jessell. 1995. Essentials of Neural Science and Behavior. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange. Kinder, Donald R., and David O. Sears. 1985. Public Opinion and Political Action. In The Handbook of Social Psychology (3rd ed.), edited by Gardner Lindzey and Elliot Aronson (pp. 659-741). New York: Random House. Krosnick, Jon A., and D. Alwin. 1987. An Evaluation of a Cognitive Theory of Response-Order Effects in Survey Measurement. Public Opinion Quarterly 51:201-219. Krosnick, Jon A., Allyson L. Holbrook, Matthew K. Berent, Richard T. Carson, W. Michael Hanemann, Raymond J. Kopp, Robert Cameron Mitchell, Stanley Presser, Paul A. Ruud, V. Kerry Smith, Wendy R. Moody, Melanie C. Green, and Michael Conaway. 2002. "The Impact of “No Opinion” Response Options on Data Quality: Non-Attitude Reduction or an Invitation to Satisfice?" Public Opinion Quarterly 66:371-403. Lodge, Milton, Kathleen M. McGraw, and Patrick Stroh. 1989. An Impression-Driven Model of Candidate Evaluation. American Political Science Review 83:399-419. Lodge, Milton, Marco Steenbergen, and Shawn Brau. 1995. The Responsive Voter: Campaign Information and the Dynamics or Candidate Evaluation. American Political Science Review 89:309-326. Lupia, Arthur. 2006. "How Elitism Undermines the Study of Voter Competence." Critical Review 18: 217-232. Luskin, Robert C. 1987. Measuring Political Sophistication. American Journal of Political Science 31 (4):856-899. Mondak, Jeffery J., and Belinda Creel Davis. 2001. Asked and Answered: Knowledge Levels When We Will Not Take 'Don't Know' for an Answer. Political Behavior 23 (3):199-224. National Research Council. 1994. "Transfer: Training for Performance." In Learning, Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance, edited by Daniel Druckman and Robert A. Bjork. Washington: National Academy Press. Schwarz, Norbert. 1996. Cognition and Communication: Judgmental Biases, Research Methods, and the Logic of Conversation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.