Political knowledge and media use in the Netherlands

  • Vettehen P
  • Hagemann C
  • Van Snippenburg L
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Abstract

Data from a nationwide survey of the year 2000 were used to investigate the level and distribution of political knowledge among the Dutch population. The influences of four demographic and socio-economic characteristics on political knowledge were estimated as well as the associations of the latter with the use of various media contents. In order to measure political knowledge adequately, a so-called Mokken scale was constructed con-tending five cumulative items. The empirical results indicated that political knowledge is not equally distributed among the Dutch population by a long way. A large part of that population, about 40 per cent, is hardly or not aware of simple political facts. Education, and to a lesser extent sex, age, and income appeared to be substantial determinants of political knowledge. The results also showed that citizens, independently of their level of education, age, sex, and income do use specifically politically oriented media-contents more frequently to the extent that they have more political knowledge.

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Authors

  • Paul G J Hendriks Vettehen

  • C. P M Hagemann

  • L. B. Van Snippenburg

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