ERIC Number: ED111715
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Political Events and Attitudinal Stability: Watergate and College Students, a Longitudinal Analysis.
Hahn, Jeffrey W.; Green, Justin J.
A short-term cohort design is utilized to examine college students at three different time periods--shortly before the Watergate Committee hearings began, after the hearings ended, and after Nixon's resignation. The purpose of the study is to test the stability of political attitudes under the impact of critical national events. Data for this seven-year study were collected by a questionnaire given on a random sample basis to about 500 college students. It is hypothesized that primary principle attitudes will be more stable than middle range attitudes which in turn will be more stable than topical issue orientations. Secondly, it is hypothesized that the cognitive maps (Showing cognitive dissonance and/or cognitive balance theory) which explain these attitudes will respond to both maturation process and events in the political environment. The results of analysis of variance indicate that, despite maturation, all of the attitudes measured display a very high degree of stability. A Multiple Classification Analysis (MCA) of the data supports the second hypothesis, even though attitudes remain stable. It is suggested that a more complete understanding of attitude formation, change, and their relation to political behavior will depend on the development and use of more complex models than those provided by cognitive maps. (Author/ND)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Attitude Measures, Cognitive Measurement, College Students, Data Analysis, Higher Education, Longitudinal Studies, Political Attitudes, Political Influences, Political Issues, Political Science, Political Socialization, Social Science Research
Justin J. Green, Political Science Department, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085 (free)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Villanova Univ., PA.
Authoring Institution: N/A