Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The "Racial Gap" in Political Knowledge Research

Those of us who've long studied political knowledge are well are of certain persistent differences in how well people do on such tests. Males outscore females, for example. Older respondents outscore younger folks. Whites outscore blacks. Various studies have challenged these differences, and the most recent one focuses on race.

As the author argues:
The premise of this article was to challenge the commonly held belief that a racial gap exists in the levels of political knowledge and information in the American public. I contend that these existing findings are primarily due to a measurement problem known as differential item functioning, or DIF, which arises due to the distinct political experiences of blacks, Latinos, and whites. 

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