Political Self-Efficacy and Cynicism in Online Political Engagement of Young Adults: The Moderating Role of Political Identity

Mehwish Yaseen (MPhil, 2016-2018) Supervisor: Mujeeba Ashraf, PhD

Political self-efficacy, political cynicism and political identity played an important role in online engagement of young adults. It was hypothesized that political self-efficacy, political cynicism, and political identity would be positively correlated and predicts the online political engagement in young adults. Moreover, it was hypothesized that political identity would moderate the relationship between political self-efficacy, political cynicism and online political engagement in young adults. Correlation research design was used in this study and the sample comprised of (N = 200) young adults both men (n = 94) and women (n = 106), with age range 18-35 years (M = 25.59, SD = 3.86). Perceived Political Self- Efficacy Scale (P-PSE; Caprara et al., 2009), Political Cynicism Scale (PCS; Adriaansen, Van Praag & De Vreese, 2010), Identification of Psychological Group Scale (IDPG; Mael & Tetrick, 1992) and Online Political Engagement Scale (OPEnS; Pontes et al., 2017) was used to assess the political self-efficacy, political cynicism, political identity and online political engagement. The result revealed that neither political self-efficacy nor political identity was correlated with online political engagement and nor have any prediction about it. However, political cynicism was positively correlated and predicts the online political engagement.  Additionally,  political  identity did not significantly moderate the relationship between political self-efficacy and online political engagement. However, in the context of political cynicism and online political engagement, political identity moderates the relationship among them. With the help of the outcomes of this study, it may be helpful to evaluate the political system of our country and also know the public capability about their contribution in political activities and their belief towards politicians.

Keywords: Political self-efficacy, cynicism, political engagement, young adults.

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