Cognitive Techniques:General Probing, Specific Probing.
Findings for Question:The majority of respondents claims to follow politics “very closely” (n=5) or “fairly closely” (n=8). Two
respondents follow politics “not very closely” (ID 04, 07) and one respondent “not at all” (ID 01).
The frequency distribution of question 2 is identical to the frequency distribution of question 1. Only
two respondents respond differently to the two questions (ID 02: question 1 = not very interested,
question 2 = fairly closely; ID 07: question 1 = fairly interested, question 2= not very closely). Respondent
02, who follows politics “fairly closely”, tries to watch the news regularly, however does not
actively seek out information on political matters in the media: “I try to keep up with the news. But I
don’t explicitly and actively search for information on politics." Respondent 07 explains his answer as
follows: “In the morning I browse some websites such as zeit.de or spiegel.de and quickly skim the
articles that interest me. But I don’t really get deeper into the matter“.
The answers of the remaining 14 respondents to the general probe (“Could you further illustrate your
answer?”) indicate that the respondents understand and answer the question in the intended way.
Overall, these answer patterns emerge:
Very closely: Respondents selecting this answer category have a broad interest in political
matters and strive to actively inform and further educate themselves via different types of
media (newspapers, political magazines, talk shows on TV, Internet, and news on the radio).
Fairly closely: The respondents are interested in some specific political issues and seek out information
both actively and consciously. The extent to which they engage in political issues,
however, depends on the topic.
Not very closely: The respondents catch up on contemporary political events sporadically, but
do not show a special interest in certain topics. They follow politics in the media in a rather
passive way, such as listening to the news on the radio when they come on, but not intentionally
turning on the radio for this exact purpose.
Not at all: The respondent is not interested in politics in the slightest and finds political matters
to be too complex. Therefore, the respondent does not follow politics at all through any
Lastly, the respondents were asked to state the channels of media they mainly use for political information.
No respondent named a different channel than the ones mentioned in the question.