Exposure to Political Discussion in College is Associated With Higher Rates of Political Participation Over Time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


While individuals who are exposed to political discussion are more politically active, analytical biases make it difficult to show evidence of causation. It is also uncertain how long the relationship between discussion and participation lasts. Here both questions are addressed with panel data collected from individuals who were randomly assigned to their college dormitories. The data show that exposure to political discussion in college leads to higher levels of participation, immediately while still in college and years into the future after graduation. As political behavior is habitual, the initial increase in participation after being exposed to political discussion is a mechanism underlying the long-run relationship between discussion and participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-309
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015



  • panel study
  • political discussion
  • political participation
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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