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A Model for Predicting Behavior: The Effect of Attitude and Social Class on High and Low Visibility Political Participation

Alan C. Acock and Wilbur J. Scott
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 59-72
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3033748
Page Count: 14
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A Model for Predicting Behavior: The Effect of Attitude and Social Class on High and Low Visibility Political Participation
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Abstract

Political participation is predicted using a model that combines several recent developments in both the attitude-behavior literature and in statistical methods. The analysis is done on a large national probability panel sample. Prior to the 1976 Presidential election, attitudes and background information were measured; after the 1976 election, behavior indicators were measured. The research confirms the value of adding a sociological dimension (social class) to the attitude-behavior relationship. The role of social class is complementary to that of subjective norms in psychologically oriented research. Additionally, social class enters as a predictor of the individual's attitude. The value of distinguishing between highly visible behavior and less visible behavior is demonstrated as it relates to the impact of social class on the former. Finally, a statistical model that incorporates measurement error (LISREL) shows promise for improving the quality of attitude-behavior research.

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