Methodology Pt 2. (second and third section of ideology test)

Apr 15, 2019

The second section of my ideology test was aimed at gauging the levels of civic engagement of each participant. According to the Pew Research center, higher political engagement is correlated with higher political partisanship, which makes this a relevant factor to evaluate in my research. Because of this, I hypothesized that civic engagement is the primary reason voters would choose their party over their ideology. To test civic engagement, I asked participants how often they engaged in a political discussion with friends, voting, advocated for a policy, actively participated in a party or interest groups, and ran for public office. I chose these factors based off a civic engagement test developed by Adler et. al. Participants would indicate if they very often, sometimes, or never engaged in these activities. Based off these results, I sorted participants into three categories: rarely civically engaged, sometimes civically engaged, and often civically engaged. I grouped participants into rarely civically engaged if they had only participated in one of the lesser-impact activities, such as engaging in a political discussion with friends. I grouped participants into the sometimes politically engaged category if they had participated in two of the factors available, that did not include running for office. I also included participants who voted, but did not engage in any other activity in this section. I grouped participants who had run for office, or conducted three or more of the factors available into the often politically engaged category.

The third section of my ideology test was dedicated to finding the demographic information from my participants. I chose to collect demographic information because demographics have been proven to have an impact on which parties and ideologies voters associate themselves with. The particular demographic information I collected pertains to gender, education, economic background, race, age, and citizenship. The first four elements I chose based on a study conducted by the Pew Research Center on which demographics caused the largest political divides. I chose to include citizenship status on my own, as the population I had access to was a large mix of immigrants and non-immigrants, and I wanted to see if this would have any impact on the results of my research.

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