The paper provides a method for examining the differences between people who actively participate in politics as contrasted with those who are not participants, and those who misreport their level of participation. Application of this method shows that the participants and the misreporters share numerous characteristics that set them apart from nonparticipants. The main distinguishing characteristic of the misreporters is their significantly higher exposure to television. The results lend support to the theory that one effect of television is to depress routine forms of political participation, while simultaneously distorting people's perception of their actual participation in political life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science