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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  Religion, Communication, and Social Capital --14-- For diversity of political discussion, we introduce a new measure from the NES items that uses incongruency in a discussion partner’s gender, perceived vote choice, and perceived political expertise as a combined variable assessing diversity of political discussion. In the NES network battery, respondents were first asked to name four political discussion partners. In subsequent questions, respondents were asked about their partner’s political and personal characteristics. In the constructed measure of gender diversity, if among their four discussion partners, the respondent discussed politics with a member of the opposite sex, a “1” was assigned to that response. These responses were tallied from a minimum of “0” (all four discussion partners are of the same sex) to a maximum of “4” (all four discussion partners are of the opposite sex). The constructed variable was then standardized. Next, if among the respondent’s four discussion partners, the partner was perceived to have voted for a presidential candidate other than the respondent’s intended vote choice, a score of “1” was assigned to that response. These responses were tallied into a constructed variable ranging form “0” to “4,” and then standardized. Finally, the absolute value difference between the respondent’s score on political knowledge (ranging from 0 to 4) and the perceived political expertise of each discussion partner was tallied into a standardized variable. The final measure of discussion diversity was a standardized variable of the score on gender incongruency, presidential vote choice incongruency, and political expertise incongruency. A number of other variables measured public affairs media use. Newspaper reading (M = 3.5, SD=2.9) was measured by a question that asked respondents how many days in the past week they had read a daily newspaper. TV national news viewing (M=3.5, SD=2.8) was measured by a question that asked respondents how many days in the past week they had

Authors: Nisbet, Matthew., Moy, Patricia. and Scheufele, Dietram.
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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
--14--
For diversity of political discussion, we introduce a new measure from the NES items
that uses incongruency in a discussion partner’s gender, perceived vote choice, and perceived
political expertise as a combined variable assessing diversity of political discussion. In the NES
network battery, respondents were first asked to name four political discussion partners. In
subsequent questions, respondents were asked about their partner’s political and personal
characteristics. In the constructed measure of gender diversity, if among their four discussion
partners, the respondent discussed politics with a member of the opposite sex, a “1” was assigned
to that response. These responses were tallied from a minimum of “0” (all four discussion
partners are of the same sex) to a maximum of “4” (all four discussion partners are of the
opposite sex). The constructed variable was then standardized.
Next, if among the respondent’s four discussion partners, the partner was perceived to
have voted for a presidential candidate other than the respondent’s intended vote choice, a score
of “1” was assigned to that response. These responses were tallied into a constructed variable
ranging form “0” to “4,” and then standardized.
Finally, the absolute value difference between the respondent’s score on political
knowledge (ranging from 0 to 4) and the perceived political expertise of each discussion partner
was tallied into a standardized variable. The final measure of discussion diversity was a
standardized variable of the score on gender incongruency, presidential vote choice
incongruency, and political expertise incongruency.
A number of other variables measured public affairs media use. Newspaper reading
(M = 3.5, SD=2.9) was measured by a question that asked respondents how many days in the
past week they had read a daily newspaper. TV national news viewing (M=3.5, SD=2.8) was
measured by a question that asked respondents how many days in the past week they had


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