In Political Science, political efficacy is the citizens' faith and trust in government and their belief that they can understand and influence political affairs. It is commonly measured by surveys and is used as an indicator for the broader health of civil society.
When a citizen has low efficacy, he does not have faith in his government and does not believe his actions have an impact upon the actions of his political leaders. When a citizen has high efficacy, he has faith in his government and believes his actions have a positive effect on his government.
Feelings of efficacy are highly correlated with participation in social and political life; however, studies have not shown any relationship between public confidence in government or political leaders and voting. Efficacy usually increases with age.
There are two types of political efficacy: internal efficacy (the belief that one can understand politics and therefore participate in politics) and external efficacy ( That the government will respond to one's demands).
- Multiple Indicators in Survey Research: The Concept "Sense of Political Efficacy" George I. Balch Political Methodology, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 1974), pp. 1-43
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