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Voter Cynicism, Perception of Media Negativism and Voting Behavior in Taiwan's 2001 Election
Unformatted Document Text:  9 examined in this analysis (all measured on a four-point scale: 1 = never, 2 = hardly ever, 3 = sometimes, and 4 = regularly) included: exposure and attention to newspaper campaign news, terrestrial television campaign news, cable television campaign news, call-in radio programs, call-in television programs, political satire shows, and internet use. One item of campaign interest was asked of respondents: On a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is absolutely not interested and 10 is absolutely interested), how interested are you in the presidential election? The efficacy items were borrowed from several scholars who modified measures of political efficacy from the National Election Studies of the Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan. Two items of internal efficacy—“public officials do not care about what people like me think” and “voting is the only way that people like me can have any say about how the government runs things”—as well as two items of external efficacy—“every vote counts in an election including yours and mine” and “most of the time we can trust our government to do what’s right.” Internal and external efficacy indices were measured on a Likert type scale: Strongly agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2), and strongly disagree (1). Cynicism was an index of four items representing respondents’ beliefs about politicians that was developed by Agger, Goldstein & Pearl (1961). The four statements were (1) politicians spend most of their time getting re-elected or reappointed, (2) a large number of city and county politicians are political hacks, (3) people are very frequently manipulated by politicians, and (4) politicians represent the general interest more frequently than they represent social interests (reverse scored item). A Likert type scale—Strongly agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2), and Strongly disagree (1)—was used. The perceptions of media negativism was measured by asking respondents to rate the negativity of media variables including television campaign news, newspaper campaign news, television talk shows, newspaper election advertisements, and television campaign advertisements. 0 stands for no negativism and 10 stands for extremely negative. Demographic variables were included in the analysis as controls: age, gender (1 = male, 2 = female), education, household income (1 = <NT$20,000, 2 = NT$20,001 – NT$40,000, 3 = NT$40,001 –NT$ 60,000, 4 =NT$ 60,000+), party affiliation, and ethnic identity.

Authors: Peng, Wein (Bonnie).
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9
examined in this analysis (all measured on a four-point scale: 1 = never, 2 = hardly
ever, 3 = sometimes, and 4 = regularly) included: exposure and attention to newspaper
campaign news, terrestrial television campaign news, cable television campaign news,
call-in radio programs, call-in television programs, political satire shows, and internet
use.
One item of campaign interest was asked of respondents: On a scale of 0 to 10 (where
0 is absolutely not interested and 10 is absolutely interested), how interested are you
in the presidential election? The efficacy items were borrowed from several scholars
who modified measures of political efficacy from the National Election Studies of the
Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan. Two items of internal
efficacy—“public officials do not care about what people like me think” and “voting
is the only way that people like me can have any say about how the government runs
things”—as well as two items of external efficacy—“every vote counts in an election
including yours and mine” and “most of the time we can trust our government to do
what’s right.” Internal and external efficacy indices were measured on a Likert type
scale: Strongly agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2), and strongly disagree
(1).
Cynicism was an index of four items representing respondents’ beliefs about
politicians that was developed by Agger, Goldstein & Pearl (1961). The four
statements were (1) politicians spend most of their time getting re-elected or
reappointed, (2) a large number of city and county politicians are political hacks, (3)
people are very frequently manipulated by politicians, and (4) politicians represent the
general interest more frequently than they represent social interests (reverse scored
item). A Likert type scale—Strongly agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2),
and Strongly disagree (1)—was used.
The perceptions of media negativism was measured by asking respondents to rate the
negativity of media variables including television campaign news, newspaper
campaign news, television talk shows, newspaper election advertisements, and
television campaign advertisements. 0 stands for no negativism and 10 stands for
extremely negative.
Demographic variables were included in the analysis as controls: age, gender (1 =
male, 2 = female), education, household income (1 = <NT$20,000, 2 = NT$20,001 –
NT$40,000, 3 = NT$40,001 –NT$ 60,000, 4 =NT$ 60,000+), party affiliation, and
ethnic identity.


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