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Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Paul Turpin

Second Committee Member

Graham Carpenter

Abstract

Donald Trump’s tweets have become prevalent in today’s society. Because college students use social media so often, it would be incumbent for the researcher to examine the impact Donald Trump’s tweets might have on these young adults’, civic engagement and how the tweets may be affecting his perceived credibility and expertise. The researcher administered a questionnaire to 350 college students from a private medium sized west coast university using various modified scales examining credibility, expertise and civic engagement. Civic engagement was measured using an adapted version of several civic engagement instruments. The researcher used a correlation analysis to offer answers for the proposed research questions. It was found that Donald Trump’s tweets have a significant positive impact on the way college students perceive him to be credible while also effecting their perception of his level of expertise. The tweets did not indicate a correlation to civic engagement, but further research concluded that specific tweets have the ability to have a significant negative correlation on civic attitudes and behaviors. The correlation analysis also found that there was a significant negative correlation between which form of media students use the most and their civic engagement. A regression analysis was performed to see if the tweets had predicting power on college student perception of his credibility and expertise. The tweets demonstrated predicting power. A regression analysis was done to see if the tweets had predicting power on college student civic engagement; the regression results showed no significant predicting power between the two. These results suggest that tweets from a United States President have a significant influence on how he is perceived to be credible, the perception of his level of expertise and how his tweets may be affecting civic engagement on college campuses.

Pages

76

Included in

Communication Commons

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