How to measure perceived political efficacy? A three-component scale
The aim of this study is to develop and examine a scale that measures three components of perceived political efficacy: personal, collective and external. Twelve statements were formulated based on four abilities: 1) ability to influence the enactment of new laws and political decisions, 2) ability to facilitate the election of a political leader, 3) ability to demand that existing laws and political decisions be observed and 4) ability to express any political opinions freely and publicly. Data was collected online via social media from Russian, Kazakh and Ukrainian samples (N = 2,184) between 2015 and 2017. The scale’s structural validity was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Results showed that with some modification the short version of the proposed model exhibits good fit indexes across all samples. Configural, metric and scalar invariance of the short version of the Perceived Political Efficacy Scale was also successfully tested. Additionally, differences in political efficacy between certain age groups were discovered, as well as between countries. Namely, people in the 30+ age bracket exhibited higher political efficacy than those in the 18–19 age bracket. Ukrainian respondents showed significantly higher personal and collective efficacy when compared to Russian and Kazakh respondents. Kazakh respondents exhibited the highest level of external efficacy.