Social and Psychological Factors of Political Participation according to Recent European Social Survey Data
While people have an influence on current political decisions, and as ordinary citizens represent the basis for political participation, depicting such political engagement in an empirical/practical way creates a concerning amount of methodological questions. Data obtained via the European Social Survey Round 1–7 offers the opportunity to outline and broaden the picture in terms of the personal (demographic and psychological) features of individuals who participate in politics to a greater or lesser degree. Participants from the seven rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) were divided into three groups: higher, medium, and lower political participation (α = 0.642). A Scale of Political Participation was created based on ‘yes’ answers. It was found that those individuals who were female or had a lower level of education participated less, while older people were more politically participative than younger people. The psychological profile of these groups differs in terms of preferred values: attitudes, satisfaction, trust in people, and institutions.
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