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Political Cynicism: A Critical Re-Examination

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abstract
The social scientific study of political cynicism is a complicated one. Cynicism has been understood both as a motivating source for change as well as a deep-rooted obstacle. This paper argues that part of the problem is that current survey scale items for political cynicism studies are flawed. This paper proposes modifications to question wording based on a historical etymology of the term cynicism as well as a systematic analysis of past question wordings. Several European studies on political cynicism were used as a theoretical basis for a replication and extension of their work. A study was conducted using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service and students at Wake Forest University to evaluate the scale. While the results made it difficult to disentangle political cynicism from related constructs like political trust and political alienation, they did confirm the reliability of a new scale.
subject
cynicism
political alienation
political cynicism
political trust
scale construction
survey methods
contributor
Foley, Jordan (author)
Krcmar, Marina (committee chair)
Hyde, Michael (committee member)
Warner, Benjamin (committee member)
date
2015-06-23T08:35:57Z (accessioned)
2015-06-23T08:35:57Z (available)
2015 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/57169 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Political Cynicism: A Critical Re-Examination
type
Thesis

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