Methodological contributions for the measurement of political efficacy sense: Empirical evidence from Quito-Ecuador

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Political efficacy sense constitutes a fundamental explanatory concept for understanding the repertoire of political behaviors that take place in democratic contexts. The purpose of this work is to contribute methodologically to the measurement of political efficacy sense, for which it proposes an applicable instrument for Spanish-speaking environments, taking as a starting point the empirical evidence of its psychometric performance in the Ecuadorian case. This scale of political efficacy has two components or subscales: a) the adaptation and translation of the internal political efficacy scale (4 items) developed by Niemi, Craig and Mattei (1991), and b) the development of 4 items for the measurement of the external political efficacy of the individuals, taking as reference the available literature about this subject. For the evaluation of the psychometric properties of the proposed instrument, two non-probabilistic samples were used, same as were taken before (n_1 = 1136) and after (n_2 = 540) of the Ecuadorian presidential elections held during the year 2017. The most relevant results of the study are the following: first, the tests of construct validity, through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), allow to verify the two-dimensional structure of the scale, being able to measure differently the internal and external political efficacy. Second, the reliability of each subscale has statistically satisfactory values. Third, tests of external validity corroborate theoretical expectations relative to the existence of different association patterns between each dimension of political efficacy sense and other interest variables for sociopolitical research. Fourth, the measurement invariance analysis of the instrument, performed through Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA), suggests the existence of factorial invariance, which means that the items of the instrument are capable of making the same distinction between internal and external efficacy in the two analyzed samples, in addition they are interpreted identically by the participants of each group. Finally, the implications and limitations of the obtained results, as well as the recommendations for future research efforts to improve the adjustment of the proposed scale to the set of Spanish-speaking countries are in discussion.




Zumárraga-Espinosa, M. (2020). Methodological contributions for the measurement of political efficacy sense: Empirical evidence from Quito-Ecuador. Empiria. Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia.

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