- Political trust as a rational attitude: a comparison of the nature of political trust across different levels of education
- Political Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 63 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines whether political trust is a relatively more rational attitude for citizens with a higher level of education. Previous research has found the higher educated to have greater political attentiveness, knowledge and understanding. The proposition that they, consequently, trust politics in a more rational way has not been tested. The present study analyses how higher and lower educated citizens construct their political trust, by assessing the extent to which political trust is internally consistent, domain-specific and consistent with political evaluations across educational groups. This is explored by applying Mokken scale analysis and structural equation modeling to data from the 2010 Dutch Parliamentary Election Survey. The findings indicate that political trust is not a fundamentally different construct for the higher and lower educated. Political trust is, to some extent, a rational attitude for all citizens.
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