An exploration of U.S. adults’ information processing skills and political efficacy

Leah Katherine Saal, Takashi Yamashita, Donita M. Shaw, Kristen H. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

As recent debates about the role of social media in election outcomes suggest, understanding the association between information processing skills and political efficacy in the U.S. is a significant inquiry for adult and continuing education. Data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies were used to explore relationships between U.S. participants’ information processing skills and political efficacy. Given the impact of certain demographic characteristics on political efficacy, the study also analyzed whether the relationship between information processing skills and self-reported political efficacy varied across levels of cultural engagement, formal educational attainment, or immigrant status. The results illustrate that higher levels of literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments are associated with higher political efficacy for U.S. participants. Our research is framed in both cognitive and critical lenses, and we provide implications for practice in adult and continuing education settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-202
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Adult and Continuing Education
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was previously presented at the 2016 American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC on April 09.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • Political efficacy
  • Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies
  • assessment
  • civic education
  • civic literacy
  • cultural engagement
  • democratic education
  • information processing skills
  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • problem solving in technology rich environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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