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Title: Media Usage and Civic Life: The Role of Values
Authors: Firat, Rengin Bahar
Issue Date: 26-Jun-2014
Publisher: PsychOpen
Abstract: Previous research has observed that media usage influences civic outcomes, including trust and political behavior. However, this research has rarely examined the social psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship between media and civic life. The current study focuses on values as potential explanations for how media usage impacts civic engagement. Using data from Round 5 of the European Social Survey (2010) and employing two-level structural equation modeling, this paper examines whether entertainment TV watching, political TV watching and Internet use are related to civic life outcomes measured by social trust, voting, and non-traditional political participation through two value dimensions: openness to change vs. conservation and self-transcendence vs. self-enhancement. Results showed that media usage was associated with values, which in turn accounted for a small portion of the effects of media on civic engagement. This study identifies a significant factor contextualizing the relationship between media and civic life that has thus far been overlooked in studies of civic life or political behavior.
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