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American Behavioral Scientist
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This study examines how exposure to a televised debate affects young citizens’ normative democratic tendencies, attitudes that have been linked to increased civic and political participation, including voting behavior. The authors also are interested in the confidence young citizens express in the political knowledge they possess—their political information efficacy—and specifically how confidence in one’s knowledge may be affected by exposure to such a sustained and “information-rich” source of campaign information as a 90-minute candidate debate. Findings reveal that debates strengthen, at least in the short term, democratic attitudes and also strengthen young citizens’ levels of political information efficacy.
McKinney, Mitchell S. and Chattopadhyay, Sumana, "Political Engagement through Debates: Young Citizens’ Reactions to the 2004 Presidential Debates" (2007). College of Communication Faculty Research and Publications. 30.