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9 article(s) found.
Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Tamkang University;Professor, Department of Public Policy and Management, Shin Hsin University.
Effects of Survey Questionnaire Design: A Random Experiment in Measuring Political Knowledge as an Example (in Chinese) Download
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A survey is designed to explore the participants’ opinions, attitudes and actions towards certain topics. The amount of information possessed by participants is not the only factor that influences their willingness to participate; question types and options design also influence participants’ responses. In reality, given cost constraints and questionnaire length, it is not feasible to provide a multiple survey design for a single concept, or to verify participants' response mode under different survey designs. This study used an experimental design to measure political knowledge from Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study (TEDS) as an example, based on (1) an “open-ended vs. close-ended” question design; (2) whether it provides “non-response” as an option, to design four different types of surveys. The study uses a posttest-only control group design with university students as participants. We randomly released the questionnaires to participants and had 1,110 valid questionnaires.
The study found that question type and non-response design affects the participant response mode; a close-ended questionnaire design does increase the correct response ratio from participants, but it also produces a higher proportion of incorrect answers than an open-ended questionnaire. An openended
questionnaire design does not have options as reference, and so it could lower the willingness of participants to take part in the survey, and it therefore resulted in a higher non-response ratio. From the composite design of question type and non-response option, we were able to precisely estimate types of participants as in Mondak (1999), but the combinations of different types of participants vary significantly as results from the level of difficulties in a questionnaire designed to measure political knowledge.
Chiung-chu Lin,Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
Yuan-ming Hsu,Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
Shiow-duan Hawang,Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
Gender Difference in Political Knowledge: A Measurement Perspective Download
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This paper aims to study the gender difference on political knowledge from a measurement perspective. It asks if the gender difference becomes smaller when the questionnaires are more related to female essentials, and it further examines the factors that lead to gender difference. By using survey data from the TEDS2013, this paper breaks down the concept of political knowledge into three categories: knowledge of female politicians, knowledge of political institutions, and overall political knowledge. Based on the results from multiple regression models, the findings are clear that males have a better political knowledge than females in general. Females, however, demonstrated a better performance on the knowledge of female politicians. This shows an increasingly clear pattern of female political knowledge when the questionnaires are more closely associated with female essentials. The factors that lead to gender differences include the level of education, exposure to newspapers, political interest, marital status, and the degree of satisfaction with the president’s performance. People with a higher level of education, with more exposure to newspapers, with a greater degree of political interest, those who are married, and express less satisfaction with the president’s performance display higher political knowledge.
Wen-jong Juang, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy and Management, Shin Hsin University.
Mei-rong Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Tamkang University.
An Index or a Scale? Measuring Political Knowledge in TEDS (in Chinese) Download
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Citizens’ political knowledge has always been believed as an important dimension of the quality of democracy. A citizenry that possesses basic knowledge of political affairs is helpful for the development of democracy. Although many political scientists have theoretically explored the origins and determinants of political knowledge, as well as empirically developed a number of measurement techniques to gauge the level of citizens’ political knowledge and in turn analyze its relationship with other concepts, at present the evidence for the effectiveness of these techniques is still lacking. That is, from a methodological perspective, discussion about the reliability and validity of political knowledge measures is rare, let alone an analysis of whether the degree of difficulty of questionnaire items that were created by using a composite measurement method is sufficient in distinguishing citizens with different levels of political knowledge. In fact, whether in the end these composite measurement items should be considered as an index or a scale currently draws little scholarly interest. The study’s objective is to examine the validity of political knowledge items found in the 2012 TEDS, and to verify whether or not the questions, in addition of possessing the form of an index, also fit the special structure of a Guttman scale.

The study has obtained the following research findings. First, TEDS has seven questions that cover different aspects of political knowledge, but there seems to be too many measures focusing on political figures. Second, level of political knowledge is found to have a statistically significant and consistent relationship with individual background variables which founded in past research, thus indicating that the measurement validity is satisfactory. Third, although the seven questions’ degrees of difficulty are within the range (between 0.1 and 0.9) set by convention, there remains room for improvement in the difficulty levels between questions. Fourth, the survey questionnaire items measuring political knowledge fit the logical structure of a Guttman scale, and are cumulative in nature. Last, from standpoint of scale construction, items measuring political knowledge can be simplified further, although future surveys may also consider designing – and incorporating – questions of appropriate difficulty level that are related to the role of government, policy accomplishments, or political environment, thereby increasing the item discrimination power of the political knowledge scale.
Shiow-duan Hawang, Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
Yuan-ming Hsu, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
Chiung-chu Lin, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Soochow University.
The Measurement of Political Knowledge (in Chinese) Download
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This paper aims to examine the measurement of political knowledge and its consequences via different formats of question designs. Would using different formats of questions, elicit different response behaviours from the respondents? We argue that different types of questions affect the reliability and validity of the concept. The data used in this paper was collected by the Taiwan's Election and Democratization Study (TEDS) which was designed to study electoral behaviour in the 2012 presidential and legislative election. Another data was collected by an experimental design survey carried out on students of Soochow University. Based on the preliminary analysis from the TEDS data, open-ended formats of political knowledge exert more influence in explaining electoral participation than closed-ended. The results from the experimental design survey further shows that closed-ended questions provide the respondents with opportunity to "guess" the answers, thus respondents turn out to have a higher score of political knowledge. This shows that different formats of questions truly affect the validity and reliability of the concept of political knowledge. This issue also plays a role in showing how political knowledge serves as an independent variable in explaining political attitudes and behaviour. Whether a higher score is due to the respondents' "true" knowledge or the chance to guess, however, needs further data to explore in the near future.
Ching-hsin Yu, Research Fellow, Election Study Center, National Chengchi University.
First and Nascent Experience: Citizen's Perception, Participation, and Evaluation of the New Legislative Electoral System in Taiwan (in Chinese) Download
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Taiwan has adopted a new mixed member system which carries significant differences from the long-implemented SNTV-MMD system for the election of legislators in 2008. Mainstream literature continues to discuss the electoral impacts on political parties and candidates by the new system while citizen's knowledge of the new system and its concomitant effects on citizen's behavior are less concerned. The purpose of this essay is to explore citizen's perceptions, participations and evaluations of this new system. Based on a 30-day rolling poll data, it firstly examines the distribution and change of citizen's knowledge of the new electoral system. It finds that citizen's knowledge of the new electoral system is not high. Also, citizen's knowledge is increased as election approaches when more campaign information is provided. It is followed by a discussion that citizen's age, education, media exposure, political interests, and party identification are closely associated with citizen's increase of knowledge. Then, by way of analyzing post election panel survey data, this essay makes clear that an increase of citizen's knowledge also contributes to citizen's intention to vote in election. However, citizen maintains a mixed assessment of the new electoral system that, compared with the SNTV-MMD system, the new electoral system is good for recruiting better candidates and the development of democracy but fears for causing social tensions. It also finds citizen's party identification plays a significant role in the assessment while citizen's knowledge of new system does not. In the discussion and conclusion section, it suggests a cautious perspective that citizen in Taiwan has only one experience of the new system. It is reasonable to argue that citizen's knowledge may increase as more elections are implemented under the new system. Meanwhile, based on the New Zealand experience and findings of this essay, more information of the new system, either from the government, mass media, or political parties, will contribute to citizen's knowledge of new system.
Bonnie Peng, professor at Department of Journalism, National Chengchi University.
Hard/Soft News Preference, Democratic Values and Voting (in Chinese) Download
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The news has softened in Taiwan as well as in most of the democratic societies. While people prefer more entertainment-related information on the media, scholars started worrying about the impact of soft news preference on voters' political knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to examine Taiwanese voters news preferences (hard/soft news) and how that related to their democratic values, political knowledge and voting.

The results had found that people in Taiwan prefer reading soft news on newspaper and television. Age and education were the best variables predicting Taiwanese democratic values. Male, highly educated, read more newspapers, prefer hard news on the media, had higher democratic values, showed more factual knowledge toward politics. While there's no significant relationship between democratic values and people's voting on presidential election, their democratic values did significantly relate to their voting in 2004 Legislative election.
Hung-der Fu, Professor, Department of Political Science, Tunghai University
Political Knowledge, Political Evaluation, and Voting Choice: A Study of Legislative Election of 2001 (in Chinese) Download
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That political knowledge may have impacts on political evaluation and political evaluation may affect voting choice have been speculated. Using post-election survey data of the 2001 legislative election, this research intends to explore the explanatory factors that influence political knowledge, to identify the relationship between political knowledge and political evaluation, and to link political evaluation and voting choice. The results show that political knowledge has significant impacts on political evaluation, and political evaluation influences the legislative vote choice. Political evaluation, both the evaluation of economic performance and the evaluation of major parties, influenced by political knowledge independently form socio-demographical factors. After analyzing the full model, we confirmed that political evaluation has impacts on voting choice.
Chiung-chu Lin, PhD Student, Department of Governmert, University of Essex.
Political Knowledge among the Electorate in Taiwan (in Chinese) Download
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Classical democratic theory hypothesizes that good citizens should have highly interests in politics, be rational, and hold their own opinion in each issue or public affairs. But in the real political world, political scientists were depressed by empirical findings that people know very little about politics. However, it is very important for maintaining a democratic system that individuals are familiar with the process of political institutions, and have essential knowledge in political affairs.

In this paper, we demonstrated that political knowledge among the electorate in Taiwan did increase. There are nearly 25% know nothing at all in 1992 on political factual questions, but there are only 5% did in 2000. Meanwhile, the level of political knowledge also affects one's response on political attitude questions obviously. The low informed inclined to express they did not hold any opinions on the questions. Besides, in our models, education, sex, the span of reading newspaper, and the span of watching television have significant influence on the level of public political knowledge. Male, better education, and spent much time in reading newspapers will be more informed. Informed voters also tend to participate more.
Tien-Lien Chuang, Research Assistant in Institute of National Developement Research.Master student, Graduate Institute of Political Science, National Cheng-Chi University.
The Development and Changing Situation of Independent Voters in Taiwan from 1989 through 1999 (in Chinese) Download
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This thesis using individual level survey data to analyze the develop­ing and changing situation of independent voters in Taiwan from 1989 through 1999. In particular, this thesis examines changing party identifi­cation and social background of independent voters, changing political in­volvement among independent voters, changing vote intentions of inde­pendent voters, and the facts which have influenced the develop of independent voters. Our research outcomes have shown that although the per­centage of independent voters in Taiwan has declined,in recent years this trend seems to have reversed, The percentage of independent voters has actually been influenced by changes in the electoral system. There are diferences in social background between independents and party identifiers.
The degree of political involvement of independent voters is lower than that of party identifiers. Their evaluation of candidates and parties is also lower than those of party identifiers. They tend to stay neutral to all polit­ical issues. when making their voting decisions, they tend to consider the conditions of the candidates, rather than voting by the boundary of parties. However, we also discover that independent voters are gradually evolving from apathetic independent voters ” with lower politic knowledge and lower political involvement, to "ideal independent voters ”, with higher political knowledge and higher political involve­ment. Looking to the future, we can predict that the percentage of independent voters will likely decline. With the continuing development of democracy and the increasing maturity and stability of party politics, we expect that the percentage of party indentifiers will grow. However, this does not necessarily mean that the percentage of independent voters will decline dramatically. Because of the expectation that independent voters are the ideal citizens, we believe that there are still a certain percentage of people who will consider themselves as independent voters. Hence, inde­pendent voters increasingly will not be " apathetic independent voters " who know nothing about politics. On the contrary, they will become
" ideal citizens" who keep highly concerned about politics and make po­litical decisions according to their own subjective attitudes.