Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

College Students' Trust in Government, Interpersonal Trust, Facebook Usage, and Political Efficacy
by Allen, Linda P., M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 170; 10243819
Abstract (Summary)

Increased citizen participation is a vital element in the concept of political efficacy. The feeling that an individual has towards political action has an impact on the political process in stimulating citizen participation and influencing public opinion. This thesis relies on an analytical survey of University of Louisiana at Lafayette students to examine potential relationships of the social networking site Facebook with college students’ trust in government, interpersonal trust, Facebook usage, and political efficacy.

Many scholars have concentrated research on social networking. Agenda melding involves a process by which people can personally engage in the democratic process through personal selection of any number of agendas to create their individual networked communities. With the advancement in technology of interactive media providing immediate access for college students through their agenda melded individual communities, this study found the social networking site of Facebook significantly related to college students’ political efficacy. Significant relationships involving trust, Facebook usage, and political efficacy were found to exist among this young demographic that previous literature indicated is the least politically effective. Further research is needed in agenda melding as Facebook provides an avenue for college students to influence political attitudes, public opinion, and democratic participation through their individual networked agenda melded communities. Further research is needed in agenda melding as algorithms may bypass the personal selection process that an individual uses to create his or her valued reference communities. Facebook’s news algorithm engine may have introduced a new concept of agenda melding, one that may be void of a Facebook user’s intention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ferguson, Alice C.
Commitee: Kim, Do Kyun, Winters, Caryn L.
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Web Studies, Mass communications, Higher education
Keywords: Agenda melding, Algorithms, Facebook usage, Interpersonal trust, Political efficacy, Trust in government
Publication Number: 10243819
ISBN: 9780355112924
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