Values, communication behavior, and political participation

Mira Sotirovic, Jack M. McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines how communication patterns mediate the influences of values on political participation. We find that the positive effects of postmaterial values on participation are mediated through reading public affairs content in newspapers. In contrast, materialist values negatively affect participation through watching television entertainment. Interpersonal discussion in which disagreement occurs mediates both the positive effect of reading public affairs and the negative effect of materialism on political participation. We also provide what may be a better explanation of the influence of communication patterns on political participation by going beyond acquisition of factual political knowledge. We show that individuals' efforts to think about news and search for additional information and perspectives modify what people "get from" media. Reflecting about news and integrating information from various sources promote better understanding of the political world and may provide a stronger cognitive base for political participation than factual political knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-300
Number of pages28
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2001


  • Interpersonal communication
  • Media use
  • Political participation
  • Political values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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