The Participatory Consequences Of Internal And External Political Efficacy: A Research Note
How do attitudes toward the political system interact with assessments of personal political competence in affecting participation? The classic answer was provided by Gamson: The optimum combination for political mobilization is a high sense of political efficacy (the belief that influence is possible) and a low level of political trust (the belief that influence is necessary). Most tests of Gamson's hypothesis have found this configuration of beliefs to be related to unconventional or "nonallegiant" behavior, but not to conventional modes of influence. These studies may have taken too narrow a view of the participatory alternatives available to individuals. Here we find that individuals who harbor feelings of personal political competence (high internal political efficacy) and cynical assessments of the responsiveness of the political system (low external political efficacy) are more prone toward unconventional participation. However, they also engage in high initiative conventional participation closely connected with the ongoing political process.
Western Political Quarterly
Pollock, Philip H., "The Participatory Consequences Of Internal And External Political Efficacy: A Research Note" (1983). Faculty Bibliography 1980s. 255.