Many citizens feel powerless in the current globalized political context, despite the potential of digital media to increase their perceptions of being informed about politics and expand their opportunities to interact with elected officials to try to influence government decisions. We analyzed 193 studies to document the most popular ways to conceptualize, measure, and model political efficacy when also studying digital media. Furthermore, we conducted a meta-analysis of correlations. We find that the positive estimates are larger, on average, when considering internal political efficacy and smaller but still positive when considering external political efficacy. We also examine how the relationships differ according to the type of media use and political system, whether authoritarian (e.g. China) or democratic. We propose a theoretical framework that considers reciprocal effects. Online information may contribute to feelings of being informed about politics and feelings of being informed lead to online political participation.
- Digital media
- external efficacy
- internal efficacy
- political efficacy
- social media
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science