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The Continuations and Changes of College Students’ Political Values and Attitudes Survey

Yih-yan Chen, P.I.

Project Description

The Continuations and Changes of College Students’ Political Values and Attitudes is a panel study conducted by the Election Study Center of the National Cheng-Chi University (NCCU) in Taiwan and funded by the National Science Foundation of Taiwan. The survey collects data for an ideational study of college students’ democratic values, political attitudes, and developmental perceptions. National Cheng-Chi University, located in Taipei, is famous for its studies in humanities, social sciences and management/administration sciences and has been attracting students from all of Taiwan for more than half century.

The baseline study interviewed a sample of freshmen in the NCCU two weeks after their enrollment in the fall of 2004. Using a proportional probabilities sampling approach, the initial study recruited 1,369 respondents, about 67% of the freshmen registered in Cheng-Chi University in 2004. The panel study aims to observe this group of students throughout the course of their four-year college education. Since the launch of the baseline interview, two follow-ups have been carried out–one administered in April 2005 and the other conducted in April 2006. There were 1,113 and 999 students respectively re-interviewed in the second and third waves. There will be two more follow-ups, scheduled in 2007 and 2008, before the graduation of this student group.

The study collected data through self-administered questionnaires which were hand-delivered by interviewers to respondents. In the presence of the interviewer, each student completed the survey form and returned it to the interviewer. Through multiple waves of surveys, the study repeatedly includes an array of questions about democratic values and attitudes, post-materialist values, political trust, mass media trust, social efficacy, cultural/national identification, and political tolerance.

The students also were asked to rate developmental levels of different countries in the baseline and 3rd wave studies. The first wave asked students to rate Taiwan, Japan, India, China, Nigeria, Cambodia, United States, and Nepal based on their developmental levels. In the 2006 follow-up ten countries, including Japan, Nigeria, India, the United States, China, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Brazil, Pakistan, and Taiwan, were rated according to their developmental ranks.

In addition, this study is rich in data measuring the respondent’s family socioeconomic background, exposure to mass media, and interactions with parents, sibling, peer groups, and teachers. This panel data allow us to study the changes or continuations of students’ values and attitudes, including the perception of development, attitudes toward democracy and freedom, and values of post-materialism. It also provides empirical data to examine the interrelations among these measures and to study the influence of socialization through family, mass media, and college education on ideational changes.

Project Documentation:

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