Introducing Psychological Factors into E-Participation Research
Cruickshank, P. (2012). Introducing Psychological Factors into E-Participation Research. In: Manoharan, A.,
Holzer, M. (Eds.) E-Governance and Civic Engagement: Factors and Determinants of E-Democracy, , () ( ed.). (pp. 338-361). Hershey, PA.: . IGI Global Publishing.
This chapter looks at e-petitioning as a successful application of e-participation from a psychological perspective. It notes that e-participation should not be viewed uncritically, as digital technologies cannot remedy all (political) problems: indeed, they can strengthen old ones and create new ones. Following a brief reviews of socio-economic and application-acceptance models of e-participation, a small selection of psychological approaches factors are presented that could be applied to this context. It is argued that it is useful and important to understand the psychological factors that influence the decisions made by individuals about whether to participate in the political system by initiating, or simply signing, a petition, or choose to remain mere passive observers, no matter how well informed. These insights can both help practitioners designing an e-participation system, and designing new research projects.
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