ECPR Lisbon: Attributions of ResponsibilityDynamics and Determinants
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ECPR Lisbon: Attributions of Responsibility Dynamics and Determinants Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Attributions of Responsibility Dynamics and Determinants: The Case of the 2005 German Election Lisbon, April 17, 2009 Thorsten Faas University of Mannheim ECPR Joint Sessions, Workshop 16 “Political information, public knowledge and perceptions of reality”
  • 2. Attributions of Responsibility 1 • Workshop “Political Information, public knowledge and perceptions of reality”: How do people see (and explain) reality? What is the role of the informational environment? • Attributions of responsibility as a crucial element • Important … – … from an individual’s point of view – … but also from the point of view of the political system as a whole: what is government / politics responsible for? • Studying such attributions – their determinants, but also their effects – as an important task for political science • Here with respect to economic situations: Who is responsible for the state of the economy (and how can we explain that)?
  • 3. Determinants of Attributions of Responsibility 2 • ÊDefensive attributions“ • ÊMorselizing“ / “politically relevant variance” • Political sophistication • ÊContextualization“ (real-world cues, front-page news) Information environment • Campaigns • Partisan rationalizations and cultural predispositions
  • 4. Data 3 • Rolling Cross-Section Survey covering the final 41 days of the 2005 German Federal Election campaign (n=3,583) • Items: – “What do you think, to what extent is the ruling government responsible for the development of this economic situation: to a large extent, to some extent or not at all?” – Êthis economic situation“ refers to • Individual’s own economic situation • Situation of the national economy – dichotomized
  • 5. Data 4 • ÊDefensive attributions“ Perceived state of own and national economic situation • ÊMorselizing“ / “politically relevant variance” • Political sophistication Interest in Politics • ÊContextualization“ (real-world cues, front-page news) Interaction term Media usage (total vs. by source) • Campaigns Distance to Election Day • Partisan rationalizations and cultural predispositions Party Identification, Left-Right-Placement
  • 6. Development of Level of Attributed Responsibility 5 1 Mean Level of Attribution .5 0 13.8. 20.8. 27.8. 3.9. 10.9. 17.9. date Individual's economic situation Nation's economic situation
  • 7. Determinants: National Economic Situation 6 Media use: total Media use: by source Ind. Econ. Ind. Econ. Nat. Econ. Nat. Econ. Interest Interest Left-Right Left-Right PI: SPD PI: SPD PI: Union PI: Union PI: other PI: other day day Media use: total Media use: total Media use: priv. TV Media use: priv. TV Media use: Public TV Media use: Public TV Media use: Tabloid Media use: Tabloid Media use: Quality Media use: Quality interaction interaction -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 logit coefficients logit coefficients
  • 8. Determinants: Individual Economic Situation 7 Media use: total Media use: by source Ind. Econ. Ind. Econ. Nat. Econ. Nat. Econ. Interest Interest Left-Right Left-Right PI: SPD PI: SPD PI: Union PI: Union PI: other PI: other day day Media use: total Media use: total Media use: priv. TV Media use: priv. TV Media use: Public TV Media use: Public TV Media use: Tabloid Media use: Tabloid Media use: Quality Media use: Quality interaction interaction -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 logit coefficients logit coefficients
  • 9. Determinants: Individual Economic Situation 8 + Interaction Term Ind. Econ. Nat. Econ. Interest Left-Right PI: SPD PI: Union PI: other day Media use: total Media use: priv. TV Media use: Public TV Media use: Tabloid Media use: Quality interaction -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 logit coefficients
  • 10. Predicted Probabilities 9 1 .8 probability .6 .4 .2 0 0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1 Individual economic situation National economic situation ... ... very poor ... good ... poor ... very good ... average
  • 11. Conclusions 10 • Information environment affects how people make sense of the world • Information can have different sources • However, media effects hard to understand without content analysis • Contact: Thorsten Faas University of Mannheim A5, 6 68131 Mannheim Germany Thorsten.Faas@uni-mannheim.de www.thorsten-faas.de