Efficacy, Emotions and the Habit of Participation

Efficacy, Emotions and the Habit of Participation Political behavior is triggered by the presence of a variety of material and cognitive resources, including political efficacy. The dominant view conceptualizes efficacy as capital, used to overcome obstacles to participation. Our theory suggests that unlike other resources, efficacy aids in the development of habitual participation by activating a particular negative emotion, anger. Using the 1990–1992 NES Panel, we find that internal efficacy boosts participation in part by facilitating anger, but not fear, in response to policy threats. This partial mediating effect operates primarily among younger citizens who are in the process of developing the habit of participation. External efficacy, because it is not self-referential, is not causally linked to participation via emotions. Finally, internal efficacy is enhanced by successful participation in politics, closing a feedback loop that helps explain participatory habits. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Efficacy, Emotions and the Habit of Participation

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-008-9076-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Political behavior is triggered by the presence of a variety of material and cognitive resources, including political efficacy. The dominant view conceptualizes efficacy as capital, used to overcome obstacles to participation. Our theory suggests that unlike other resources, efficacy aids in the development of habitual participation by activating a particular negative emotion, anger. Using the 1990–1992 NES Panel, we find that internal efficacy boosts participation in part by facilitating anger, but not fear, in response to policy threats. This partial mediating effect operates primarily among younger citizens who are in the process of developing the habit of participation. External efficacy, because it is not self-referential, is not causally linked to participation via emotions. Finally, internal efficacy is enhanced by successful participation in politics, closing a feedback loop that helps explain participatory habits.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 8, 2008

References

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