By Stephen K. Hunt, Kevin R. Meyer, John F. Hooker, Cheri J. Simonds, Lance R. Lippert
A repeated measures design was employed to assess the effects of participation in the Political Engagement Project (PEP) on measures of students’ political knowledge, efficacy, general interpersonal skills, skills of influence and action, political behavior, concern for political issues, and political ideology. Results demonstrate that students in PEP sections of an introductory communication course show significantly larger pre- to posttest gains on virtually all of the measures. Specifically, mean scores indicated that both experimental groups (PEP without video and PEP with video) reported significantly greater increases, compared to the control group, in political knowledge, efficacy, general interpersonal skills, skills of influence and action, and political behavior. However, the control group produced significantly greater increases on the concern for political issues measure as compared to the PEP with video experimental group, while showing no significant differences to the PEP without video experimental group. Finally, there were no differences over time for any of the groups on a measure of political ideology.