Title page for ETD etd-09132005-105059


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Holmes, Adam J
URN etd-09132005-105059
Title STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE? THE EFFECT OF PERCEPTIONS OF THE ECONOMY AND AFFECT TOWARD THE PRESIDENT ON TRUST IN GOVERNMENT
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kiecolt, K. Jill Committee Chair
Denton, Robert E. Jr. Committee Member
Fuhrman, Ellsworth R. Committee Member
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Member
Keywords
  • government
  • trust
  • partisan
  • economy
  • affect
Date of Defense 2005-05-12
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study examines persons' trust in the federal government using data from the National Election Study for the presidential election years 1980 through 2000. I hypothesize that person's perceptions of the national economy's health and their affect toward the incumbent president are both positively correlated with their trust in the federal government. I also hypothesize that a person's level of affect toward the president is a stronger predictor of their trust in the federal government than persons' perceptions of the national economy's health. All of these hypotheses are supported in my findings. I also present a serendipitous finding that relates to political party culture. This study finds significant differences between Democrats and Republicans in the trust they afford the government via affect toward the president, suggesting a difference in how self-identified Democrats and Republicans view the president's role in government.
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