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The Korean Society for Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 64 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korean Journal of Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 64, No. 4, pp.210-246
Abbreviation: KSJCS
ISSN: 2586-7369 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2020
Received 10 Apr 2020 Revised 27 Jul 2020 Accepted 04 Aug 2020

정치적 무지에 대한 무지 : 실제 지식과 인지된 지식이 정치 참여에 미치는 효과 분석
김현우** ; 이종혁***
**경희대학교 언론정보학과 석사 (
***경희대학교 언론정보학과 교수 (

Ignoring Political Ignorance : Effects of Actual Political Knowledge and Perceived Political Knowledge on Political Participation
Hyeonwoo Kim** ; Jong Hyuk Lee***
**Master, Department of Journalism and Communication, Kyung Hee University (
***Professor, Department of Journalism and Communication, Kyung Hee University, corresponding author (


정치 지식이 낮은 집단이 자신의 지식 수준을 과대평가하고 적극적으로 정치에 참여하는 현상을 어떻게 보아야 할까? 본 연구는 메타 인지 능력과 더닝-크루거 효과(Dunning-Kruger effect)를 이론적 근거로 이 문제를 풀어보았다. 구체적으로 본 연구는 온라인 설문조사를 통해 실제 정치 지식, 인지된 정치 지식, 정치 참여, 뉴스 이용, 정치 대화 등을 측정하였다. 분석 결과, 정치 지식 수준이 낮은 집단은 자신의 지식 수준을 실제보다 높게 평가하는 반면, 정치 지식 수준이 높은 집단은 자신의 지식 수준을 실제보다 낮게 평가했다. 정치 지식 수준이 낮은 집단의 이와 같은 과신은 자신의 무지에 대한 무지 때문인 것으로 나타났다. 이를 통해 정치 지식의 영역에서도 더닝-크루거 효과가 재현됨을 확인하였다. 또한 정치 지식이 높은 집단은 관습적 정치 참여를, 낮은 집단은 슬랙티비즘 유형이 정치 참여를 즐기는 것으로 분석되었다. 인지된 정치 지식은 이런 영향 관계를 증폭시키는 조절변인으로 기능하였다. 또한 자신의 정치 지식 수준에 대한 오인을 개선하기 위해서는 정치 대화가 유용한 것으로 드러났다. 그러나 뉴스 이용은 유의미한 도움을 주지 못하였다. 본 연구는 그동안 정치커뮤니케이션 영역에서 논의되어 온 정치 지식을 사회심리학적 관점으로 개념을 확장하고 풍부한 해석을 더했다는 의의를 갖는다.


It is a common phenomenon that people with low political knowledge overestimate their knowledge level and actively participate in politics. This study tried to tackle this problem based on the meta-cognitive ability and the Dunning-Kruger effect. According to Kruger and Dunning, individuals who lack abilities in a particular area tend to overestimate their abilities, whereas individuals who have high abilities underestimate their actual abilities. The overestimation is due to the lack of meta-cognitive skills, which means that they do not have enough ability to understand what they know and what they do not know. On the other hand, the underestimation occurs because they do not make an objective judgment on the ability of others. This study verified whether this distorted perception occurs in the area of political communication and explored what effect this phenomenon has on political participation. For this purpose, this study conducted an online survey with the help of a research firm. A quota sampling method was employed so that the respondents’ gender and age distributions were similar to those of the national population. In the survey, many items measuring actual political knowledge, perceived political knowledge, political participation, news use, and political discussion were included. Finally, 561 respondents’ answers were analyzed. Results showed that the group with low political knowledge rated their knowledge level higher than the actual level, while the group with high political knowledge level rated their knowledge level lower than the actual level. This overconfidence of the group with low political knowledge was due to their lack in meta-cognitive ability, which indicates ignorance of ignorance. This confirms that the Dunning-Kruger effect takes place in the realm of political knowledge. Another finding was that the group with high political knowledge was engaged in conventional political participation, while the group with low political knowledge was engaged in slacktivism. Conventional political participation involves voting behaviors and political discussions about candidates. On the other hand, slacktivism refers to activities such as reading or posting online political posts through Facebook and YouTube. It is considered as an activity that does not affect actual political change even though it deals with much information and opinion. This study also found that the perceived political knowledge served as a moderating variable in a way to amplify the effect of actual political knowledge on political participation. Additionally, political discussion was proved to be useful in order to improve the misconception about one's level of political knowledge. However, news use was not a significant helper. This study contributes to political communication studies by expanding the concept of political knowledge and adding a rich interpretation to it from the perspective of social psychological theories.

Keywords: Political knowledge, Dunning-kruger effect, Political participation, Slativism, Political dialogue
키워드: 정치 지식, 더닝-크루거 효과, 정치 참여, 슬랙티비즘, 정치 대화


This manuscript was revised based on the first author's master's thesis. (본 연구는 제1저자의 석사학위 논문을 토대로 수정 작성됐습니다.)

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