Examining Political Communication Apprehension
thesisposted on 2021-07-27, 19:04 authored by Cassidy HansenCassidy Hansen
Increased partisan apathy, affective polarization, and purposeful selection of homogenous political discussion groups are of growing concern as politics within the United States becomes more contentious. While previous work has considered when political discussions occur, if discussions are deliberative, and whether discussions affect democratic outcomes, this study focuses on the process someone undergoes when determining whether to participate in a political discussion. This paper examines political communication apprehension by considering how personality predispositions and uncertainty reduction influence the expectancy-value judgments made when determining if participating in a certain political discussion situation is worth the cost. Factors of political communication apprehension were determined through an exploratory factor analysis of a batter of questions designed to capture elements of political communication apprehension. Findings indicate that even if people are not very attached to their political parties, their political communication apprehension is largely informed by expectancy value judgements based on information they have learned from the political world.