Measuring political attitudes in new democracies: The case of Chile

Pedro Fierro Zamora, Frederic Guerrero-Solé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work is to analyze three political attitudes: internal efficacy, external efficacy, and political interest, as variables that can explain people’s disaffection. We aim to determine the impact of short-term and sociodemographic variables on these three political attitudes in the context of Chile. A survey, carried out by GFK-Adimark between March 3, 2016 and April 6, 2016, was used to answer our main research questions. In the survey, 1,651 inhabitants participated from the Chilean region of Valparaiso. Using this data, a hierarchical multivariate analysis was used for each attitude studied. In these terms, our results suggest that education and previous participation explain internal efficacy and political interest, but not external efficacy. Additionally, gender explains the perception of self-competence but not political interest. On the other hand, the perception of corruption is not related to any of the three political attitudes analyzed. These results are in line with the idea that political attitudes are stable variables not related to short-term variables. Although political malaise is usually studied by scholars, their work is normally considered under the conditions of a consolidated systems. In this framework, the Chilean data presented is going to help us understand the behavior of political attitudes in new democracies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-109
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaffection
  • Engagement
  • Political attitudes
  • Political efficacy
  • Political interest


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