Intermediation Environments of Voters: An International Comparison
The project attempted to analyse in comparative perspective how two sources of political information - interpersonal communication and mass communication - influence individual voting decisions in Western democracies. Theoretically, the project is based on a classic model proposed by Philip Converse, which in recent years has been refined by John Zaller, drawing on various theories of cognitive psychology. It was hypothesized that structural, cultural, and affective predispositions (group identifications, ideologies, party identifications), on the one hand, and voters' individual political awareness, on the other, moderate the influences that are exerted by the information that is conveyed to the voter either through personal conversation with family members, friends, or coworkers, or through the press and television.The analysis was based on representative samples of voters from five societies in four countries: East and West Germany, Britain, Spain, and the United States. Data were collected in the early 1990s.